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Safety Regulators Sleeping on Job? GM Problems Missed


SEE ALSO: Washington Post Update
SEE ALSO: GM Congressional Testimony

Washington DC March 31, 2014; The AIADA newsletter reported that Federal safety regulators declined to open a formal probe in 2007 into hundreds of thousands of now-recalled General Motors cars even when a senior official notified superiors there were at least four fatal crashes linked to air-bag failures. A report released Sunday by a House panel investigating the timeliness of GM’s recall suggests this was one of several warning signs missed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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According to The Detroit News, records reviewed by the panel show the safety agency again opted not to investigate the issue in 2010 after reviewing a report about a fatal crash involving a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Another document obtained by the committee shows GM decided not to redesign the faulty ignition switch at the heart of the problem — partly because it would cost too much.

The 235,000 pages of records turned over by GM and NHTSA to Congress about the handling of crashes and complaints leading to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles tied to ignition switch defects raise serious questions, a House committee said. They show both GM and NHTSA failed to heed warning signs that could have prevented deaths.

GM and NHTSA’s missed red flags.

The Facts So Far:

House report released Sunday March 30 says NHTSA missed or hid ignition problems

General Motors on Friday March 28 said it will replace the ignition switch in all model years of its Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice and Saturn Ion and Sky in the U.S.

The expanded recall adds 824,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. from 2008-'11 and brings the total number of cars involved in the recall in the U.S. to 2,190,934.

GM also confirmed an additional fatality associated with the defective part, bringing the total number of fatalities to 13.

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