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General Motors CEO under Fire for Recall Delay

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Jarod Cassidy4 years ago

After taking over General Motors less than two months ago, CEO Mary Barra is already facing what could be one of the biggest threats to the automaker’s reputation in its 105 year history as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigates the company’s handling of defective ignition switches which have already been linked to 13 deaths.

NHTSA Launches Probe into General Motors Recall

According ot CNBC, Barra is doing all she can to comply with an NHTSA investigation as GM is threatened with multi-million dollar fines and possible criminal investigations in connection to its handling of a recall for more roughly 1.6 million Chevrolet, Saturn and Pontiac vehicles.

Among the questions Barra will have to answer are:

  • What did General Motors executives know?
  • When did they know it?
  • Why did it take so long for them to enact a full recall for the vehicles affected by defective ignition switches?

The same day the NHTSA sent a list of 107 questions regarding the recall to General Motors, Barra announced that she had launched an internal review into the recall in order to provide the agency with the most detailed report possible.

However, Barra will also have to answer to the public as consumers as to why GM took seven years to issue a recall for a defect that has been linked to 13 deaths and 33 collisions already.

About the Defective GM Ignition Switches

According to court depositions, the defect was originally experienced by a GM engineer in 2004 when 2005 Chevy Cobalt he was test driving unexpectedly lost power. Engineers were soon able to link the loss of power to a defective ignition switch.

According to the NHTSA, jarring events such as rough terrain or heavy key rings can cause the ignition switch in the recalled vehicles to move from the “run” position to the “accessory” position, cutting power to the engine and potentially disabling the vehicles airbags.

Models listed in the recall are:

  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2007 Pontiac G5
  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2006-2007 Saturn Sky


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