Congress to Investigate GM Recall
House Energy and Commerce Committee Announce GM Investigation
Less than a week after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanded documents from GM concerning the company’s recall of 1.6 million vehicles equipped with defective ignition switches, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has announced plans to conduct an investigation of its own.
Among the issues to be addressed in the investigation are why it took so long for GM to initiate a recall, and whether delayed action by the auto maker directly contributed to consumer deaths.
The investigation will be lead by the committee’s chair, Michigan Republican Fred Upton.
Upton was played an major role in the enactment of the Tread Act of 2000, the last piece of auto safety legislation enacted by Congress, which requires auto makers to report fatal accidents related safety defects to be reported in a timely manner, and directed the U.S. Transportation Department to improve its ability to review such data.
According to Upton, should the congressional committee find that the auto maker missed potential red flags or failed to adhere to requirements laid out by the Tread Act, it will be a sign that the law is not working as intended and will likely have to be revisited.
GM has also launched an internal investigation into the recall as it attempts to avoid costly backfire like that experienced by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2010, when the auto maker issued a recall for millions of vehicles affected by defective acceleration pedals.
About the General Motors Ignition Switch Recall
- GM initiated the recall of 1.6 million vehicles on February 13, stating that faulty ignition switches could result in the vehicles shutting off while in operation, disabling safety features and air bags.
- Court depositions have revealed that the auto maker first discovered the defect as early as 2004 after a GM engineer loss power while test driving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt.
- By the following year, GM had determined that the loss of power was linked to a fault ignition switch and that the defect could affect other vehicles; however, GM opted to send service bulletins to dealers in place of issuing a recall.
- Since 2004, 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions with air bag failure have been linked to the defective ignition switches.
- According to the company, jarring events as simple as a bumpy road or a heavy key ring can cause the ignition switches to shift from the “run“ position to the “accessory” or “off” positions, cutting power to the engine.
- Recalled models include:
- 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
- 2007 Pontiac G5
- 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
- 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
- 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
- 2006-2007 Saturn Sky
AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT RESULT
$1.8 MillionExpenses: $20,000.00 | Attorneys Fees: $765,000.00 | Net to Client: $1 Million
AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT RESULTS
$2 MillionExpenses: $78,475.96 | Attorneys Fees: $850,087.96 | Net to Client: $1,071,436.00
AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT RESULT
$2.3 MillionExpenses: $200,000.00 | Attorneys Fees: $900,000.00 | Net to Client: $1.2 Million