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investigation 223 articles

U.S. Treasury approved GM exec pay raises despite poor performance, losses

Top executives at General Motors (GM) and Ally Finance (formerly GMAC, GM’s former consumer finance offspring) received “excessive” pay hikes approved by the U.S. Treasury Department, which has monitored and approved executive salaries and bonuses since the companies received $66.7 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money. According to a report released Wednesday by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the Treasury Department allowed total pay packages of at least $1 million for all of the top executives at both companies. The report also says several GM executives who received a combined $3 million ... Read More

GM announces two new recalls to repair fire hazards

General Motors (GM) has announced two new safety recalls over defects that could potentially result in fire, and in some cases, explosion. Last week, GM said it was recalling about 3,200 natural gas-powered cargo vans for gas leaks that could lead to an explosion and fire. The recall affects 3,196 Chevrolet Express CNG and GMC Sahara vans powered by compressed natural gas. The Detroit automaker informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that the affected vehicles “may have a CNG (compressed natural gas) high pressure regulator that leaks natural gas into the atmosphere,” adding that this flaw “could cause ... Read More

FAA to investigate possible link between jetBlue engine failure and metal fragment

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a metal panel that fell from the sky last week and nearly struck a cyclist around the same time that a jetBlue flight bound to Austin, Texas, from Long Beach, Calif., experienced engine failure and had to make an emergency landing. Four passengers suffered smoke inhalation-related injuries aboard jetBlue flight 1416 Thursday morning after the airplane cabin filled with acrid smoke minutes after taking off. Passengers aboard the plane said they heard a loud boom, immediately followed by a dense caustic smoke that began to fill the cabin. Flight attendants passed out oxygen ... Read More

NHTSA’s failure to address GM ignition switch problem detailed in Congressional report

Federal auto safety regulators fell under scathing criticism again this week following the release of a House committee report that underscored their failures in policing General Motors (GM) while consumer complaints about defects and accident reports piled up in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) database. “The agency’s repeated failure to identify, let alone explore, the potential defect theory related to the ignition switch — even after it was spelled out in a report the agency commissioned — is inexcusable,” the House Energy and Commerce Committee concluded in its report. The report blames NHTSA for failing to notice a ... Read More

Companies must report all employee amputations, eye loss, death to OSHA under new rule

Under a new federal safety rule that will take effect Jan. 1, all employers will be required to notify the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) whenever an employee is hospitalized for an on-the-job injury, suffers an amputation, or loses an eye at work. OSHA regulators originally proposed the new rule change three years ago to enhance current requirements, which mandate that employers notify OSHA when a work-related accident kills an employee or injures and hospitalizes three employees. “Hospitalizations and amputations are sentinel events, indicating that serious hazards are likely to be present at a workplace and that an intervention ... Read More

Former NECC pharmacist arrested on criminal charges stemming from fungal meningitis outbreak

A man was arrested last week as part of an ongoing investigation into the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Glenn Adam Chin was attempting to board a plane to Hong Kong when federal authorities arrested him on one count of mail fraud. According to the Department of Justice, the maximum sentence under the statute is 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection ... Read More

Pilot fatigue, errors top causes of UPS plane crash in Birmingham, NTSB says

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Multiple pilot errors likely caused a UPS cargo plane to crash into a hill near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport last summer, killing the captain and first officer, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators said in a Thursday meeting and announcement. NTSB investigator Robert Sumwalt stressed that discussion of the crew’s errors was necessary to learn from them and was not in any way intended to judge their characters. “I want to make the point to begin with that these were very good people. They were loved by many, had many friends. I don’t want to sound like I ... Read More

GM lawyers under federal criminal investigation for allegedly concealing ignition switch evidence

Federal prosecutors are investigating General Motors’ legal department for possible criminal liability in the way it handled the company’s deadly ignition switch problem, the Wall Street Journal reported. U.S. officials investigating the matter seek to determine whether lawyers working for GM, both internally and externally, concealed knowledge and evidence of the ignition switch defects from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulators, which in turn could have effectively precluded a safety recall for several years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the investigation was triggered by an internal GM report in June that blamed its legal counsel for failing to ... Read More

Last unresolved lawsuit from Continental Flight 3407 crash headed to trial

One wrongful death lawsuit stemming from the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, New York, has not been resolved, and the case appears to be headed to trial in the coming months. Flight 3407 crashed on Feb. 12, 2009, as the twin-turbo prop airplane was making its final approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The crash killed all 49 people aboard the airplane and one person on the ground — 61-year-old Doug Wielinski, who was at home with his wife and daughter when the airplane hit his house. It’s the Wielinski family’s lawsuit that remains unresolved out ... Read More

GM’s new ignition switch website offers recall info by model and year

“There is a risk, under certain conditions, that your ignition switch may move out of the “run” position, resulting in a partial loss of electrical power and turning off the engine,” GM’s newly refurbished ignition switch recall website informs drivers who need to look up information about GM ignition switch defects. The website allows consumers to find specific General Motors (GM) recall information online by clicking on a list of vehicle models and years. Users are then directed to safety information that describes the ignition switch problem. The website also warns drivers that the risk of an ignition-related problem “increases ... Read More