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Justice Department Investigates General Motors

Antarvir Kaur3 years ago

The Justice Department has joined the list federal agencies and congressional committees investigating General Motors in connection to accidents caused by defective ignition switches.

GM Facing Federal Investigations

According to CBSDFW, the U.S. Department of Justice has joined investigations into GM’s handling of a major recall for vehicles with faulty ignitions switches.

While the Justice Department would not comment on the investigation, an unidentifed person briefed on the matter informed reporters that federal investigators are trying to determine if any laws were broken by GM in their slow response to the defect that has resulted in at least 13 deaths.

GM has admitted that it was aware of the defect by 2004, but opted not to conduct a recall as they believed instances of accidents were not common enough to warrant a recall. There have now been 33 frontal collisions linked to the faulty ignition switches.

Hearings will occur in the next few weeks and GM could potentially be fined $35 million.

Defect Can Result in Loss of Safety Features

The recalled models have faulty ignition switches that can shut off the vehicles' engines unexpectedly. GM states that “jarring events” like a bumpy road or a heavy key ring can cause the ignition switches to move out of the “run position” and into the “accessory” or “off” position.

Shifting of the ignition switch can result in drivers losing power-assisted steering, power brakes and anti-lock bracks.

The defect can also prevent air bags from deploying in the event of a collision.

Models Affected by the GM Recall
  • GM recalled 1.6 million of older model compact cars on February 13th.
  • This included 780,000 Cobalts and Pontiac G5s.
  • Shortly after, they also recalled 842,000 Saturn Ion compacts, Chevrolet HHR SUVs and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars.


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