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GM CEO – Ignition Switches Did Not Meet Specifications

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

General Motors CEO Mary Barra has admitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee that faulty ignition switches manufactured in 2002 and replacement switches manufactured in 2006 did not meet company specifications.

GM Knew Ignition Switches Did Not Meet Specifications

During a hearing held by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation on Tuesday, Barra admitted that the ignition switches used in 1.6 million recalled 2003-2007 vehicles did not meet GM’s own company specifications.

While Barra claims that GM is investigating the matter, key staff with Delphi Automotives, the company that manufactured the faulty switches, revealed last Thursday that GM was informed in 2002 that the ignition switches did not meet GM torque specifications, but GM decided to approve the switches nonetheless. 

Delphi also told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that when the switches were redesigned in 2006, General Motors once again opted for a design which did not meet their specifications.

Perhaps more surprising are claims by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that new switches used in 2008-2011 models also failed to meet company specifications.

Though GM recalled roughly 971,000 of these vehicles on Friday, it was under the claim that the vehicles could have been repaired with inadequate switches based on the 2002 and 2006 designs, not because the new switches themselves are inadequate.

Officials with Delphi claim that GM was aware that the ignition switches used in 2008-2011 models are inadequate and approved the design despite it not meeting company specifications.

Replacement Ignition Switches to follow Previous Inadequate Design

During Tuesday’s hearing, Mary Barra was asked by Rep. Diana DeGette if recalled vehicles would be repaired with new ignition switches or with switches based on an old or existing design.

Though vague, Barra did indicate that the replacement ignition switches would, in fact, be based on the 2006 design, but she stated the new switches would meet specifications.

Barra assured the Committee that the recalled vehicles are still safe to drive as long as consumers remove all objects from their key ring.

So far, the defective switches have been linked to 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions.


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