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GM issues five new safety recalls affecting 2.67 million vehicles

General Motors (GM) announced another slew of safety recalls Thursday encompassing about 2.9 million vehicles globally. Most of the recalled vehicles – about 2.67 million – are in the United States. The largest of the five new recalls affects about 2.44 million Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, and Saturn Aura cars from the 2004 to 2012 model years. GM says that the brake light wires can potentially corrode on these vehicles, causing the brake lights to quit working. GM first discovered the problem six years ago but has only issued an advisory to its dealerships and fixed a small number of ... Read More

Did GM’s top execs remain in the dark on ignition switch defect?

How much General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra knew about the company’ defective ignition switches before she took the top seat on January 15 has been the source of much speculation, and now Congressional investigators are trying to determine whether she and other top executives may have had more involvement in the problem than they have acknowledged. According to Reuters, emails, internal reports, and other GM documents obtained by Congress show that two former Barra lieutenants, Jim Frederico and Terry Woychowski, worked with the GM engineer who led an internal probe of the ignition switch problem from August 2011 to ... Read More

Fourth GM executive leaves company in wake of defective ignition switch delayed recalls

Another General Motors (GM) executive who studied the automaker’s faulty ignition switches before they were recalled in February will leave GM after nearly four decades with the company. The retirement of Jim Federico, GM’s executive director of global vehicle performance, safety, proving grounds and test labs, brings the number of top officials to retire or resign to four since GM finally recalled the defective part more than a decade after first discovering it. Mr. Frederico led an internal analysis of the ignition switch defect in 2012, according to GM documents obtained by Congress and recently released. Although court documents and ... Read More

GM ships first batch of ignition switch replacements

General Motors (GM) started shipping thousands of new ignition switches to dealers throughout the United States last month, but most owners of the 2.59 million vehicles affected by the faulty switch recall will have to wait weeks or even months for the repairs. The car manufacturer first started recalling vehicles with the defective ignition switches on Feb. 13. An additional recall on Feb. 25 brought the total number of vehicles affected by the faulty switch to 2.6 million. According to GM, owners of the following vehicles will need to schedule an ignition switch repair with their local dealership: 2005-2010 Chevrolet ... Read More

Frustrated families of GM ignition switch victims seek real answers, action

General Motors Co. Chief Executive Mary Barra testified before a Congressional panel Tuesday in an effort to provide lawmakers with an understanding of the company’s failure to recall defective ignition switches and allowing six of its models to remain on the road for more than 10 years despite the deadly flaw. While Ms. Barra’s performance in the hearing has been widely praised in business circles, many families of those who lost their lives in one of the affected vehicles are left feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. “I did not care for the answers from Ms. Barra,” Mary Ruddy, whose 21-year-old daughter ... Read More

GM retains former BP oil spill fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg to help with ignition switch crisis

General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra said her company has retained former BP oil spill administrator Kenneth Feinberg to shepherd the company through its options amid its ignition switch crisis. In her opening remarks to the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Tuesday, Ms. Barra divulged GM’s selection of Mr. Feinberg to help the company explore its options. GM faces mounting litigation, civil fines, and possible criminal penalties over its failure to recall a defective ignition switch that has been blamed for multiple deaths. Resolving the crisis with complainants and the government could end up costing the automaker billions of dollars. ... Read More

GM approved subpar ignition switches, manufacturer says

General Motors (GM) approved ignition switches that are being blamed for multiple crashes, deaths, and injuries even though the mechanisms failed to meet the company’s specifications, the company that supplied the part told congressional investigators. According to documents released ahead of an April 1 testimony by GM’s CEO Mary Barra, Delphi Automotive noted that tests revealed the ignition switches’ torque performance fell below the target set by GM, but the automaker allowed them to be used in its new Chevrolet Cobalt and five other models. The faulty ignition switch is liable to allow the key to switch off the engine ... Read More

Did GM, NHTSA turn a blind eye to deadly ignition problem?

Both General Motors (GM) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have said that despite receiving numerous reports and complaints of the ignition switch defect that turned about 1.6 million U.S. cars into potential deathtraps, it was not easy to spot a trend in the data. No red flags apparently went off. However, CBS News investigated the same data from NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting system, which is used to report accidents resulting in deaths and injuries, and found that GM reported there were many more claims of injury and death in 2005 and 2006 Chevrolet Cobalts with airbags as ... Read More

GM dealerships inundated with worried drivers amid ignition switch safety recall

Many General Motors (GM) customers affected by the company’s ignition switch recall are too spooked to drive their vehicles, afraid that they could become the next victim of a defect that could suddenly shut down the engine and all safety systems, including the airbags. Owners of the 1.6 million vehicles affected by the defect will receive a letter from GM formally notifying them of the recall, what repairs are proposed, and the timeline for a fix. The automaker expects parts to start arriving at dealerships nationwide next month, but because so many cars are involved, it could take several months ... Read More

Feds look for evidence of cover-up in GM ignition switch investigation

Toyota Motor Corp.’s admission last week that it intentionally misled customers and federal authorities about the extent of sudden unintended acceleration problems in its vehicles resulted in a $1.2 billion penalty — the largest fine against an auto manufacturer in U.S. history. But does General Motors face a similar fate for its failure to recall faulty ignition switches in a timely manner? It’s a possibility that likely has GM executives on edge as the company has only recently reclaimed its steady footing after a 2009 government bailout saved the automaker from extinction. Court documents and other evidence indicate that GM ... Read More