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GM Submits 200,000 Pages to NHTSA

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

General Motors has filed roughly 200,000 pages of documents with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in response to a Special Order regarding the automaker’s faulty ignition switch recall.

65 Percent of Questions Answered

It will no doubt take some time to review, but, according to an ABC affiliate, General Motors claims that about 65 percent of the questions asked by the order will be answered by the submitted documents.

The order was filed by the NHTSA last month in response to a recall which now affects approximately 2.6 million vehicles. In their recall, GM states that ignition switches installed in the vehicles can inadvertently shift from the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position, cutting power to the engine.

The event can be caused by heavy key rings or jarring events like bumpy roads or a driver’s knee striking the key and can result in the loss of multiple safety features including airbags, power steering and anti-lock brakes.

A timeline released by GM indicates that the problem was detected as early as 2001 but was not properly addressed and recalled until 2014. In addition, it is suspected that GM failed to provide all relevant information concerning the defect to the NHTSA – the lack of disclosure resulted in delayed action and likely contributed to multiple deaths.

So far, GM acknowledges that 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions have been linked to the defective switches. The Center for Auto Safety, however, places the number of connected deaths at 303.

Possibility of Criminal Charges

“The more I hear and see in these documents… the more convinced I am that GM has real exposure to criminal liability. I think it’s likely and appropriate that GM will face prosecution” – Senator Richard Blumenthal as published by FOX News

During a Senate sub-committee hearing held earlier this week, multiple Senators suggested that both a criminal investigation and the filing of criminal charges are likely to occur.

Senator Claire McCaskill went so far as to say that GM has created a culture of cover-up which, in turn, allowed for employees to lie under oath. The claim was made in reference to a GM engineer who claimed that he had no knowledge of the defective ignition switches during a trial concerning Chevy Cobalt crash but was later revealed to have signed off on a part change for the switch in 2006.

Additionally, after the part was changes, the auto maker failed to provide a new model number for the redesigned ignition switch, making it look as though no changes were ever made.

Investigations in General Motors by the NHTSA, U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Congress are ongoing. In addition to criminal charges against GM executives and multiple lawsuits, the company potentially faces a fine of up to $35 million.


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