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GM announces more safety recalls over weekend, 57,000 vehicles affected

General Motors (GM) announced two more safety recalls over the weekend affecting more than 57,000 vehicles in the United States for problems involving overheating fuel pumps, loose electrical connections, and yet more potentially deadly ignition switch defects. The new recalls came just one day after the Detroit automaker recalled more than half a million cars and SUVs for loose joint and hood latch defects. On Saturday, GM said that it’s recalling about 47,000 2008-09 Pontiac G8 cars and about 7,600 model-year 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice police cars because drivers may bump the ignition key with their knee, inadvertently switching the key ... Read More

GM launching two new safety recalls of more than half a million cars, SUVs

General Motors (GM) announced two new safety recalls on Friday for loose joints and a hood latch problem that together affect more than 524,000 cars and SUVs. The first recall encompasses 430,550 Cadillac SRX and Saab 9-4X SUVs for possible loose joints and worn threads in the rear toe link assembly, which could cause the toe adjuster link to separate and in turn cause the vehicle to veer off the intended course at highway speeds and potentially crash. GM said it knows of three crashes and two injuries linked to the rear toe link defect. The recall affects 2010-2015 model-year ... Read More

Parents of woman killed in Santa Monica plane crash file wrongful death lawsuit

The parents of a 28-year-old woman killed in a Santa Monica airplane crash last year have filed a lawsuit against the pilot’s estate and several others, alleging negligence in the design and handling of the airplane as well as the air strip on which the airplane attempted to land. Lauren Winkler died when the Cesna 525A Citation airplane piloted by her boyfriend’s father crashed on the evening of Sept. 29, 2013, at Santa Monica Airport. The other three occupants of the plane were also killed; they were identified as: Mark Benjamin, 63, the pilot; his girlfriend Kyla DuPoint, 53; and ... Read More

General Motors ignition switch death toll rises to 23

The number of deaths linked to the ignition switch defect in more than a decade of General Motors (GM) vehicles continues to climb, with the latest toll hitting 23, according to a report by Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing a fund established to compensate crash victims and their families. After it finally began recalling vehicles affected by the potentially deadly ignition flaw last February, GM said that it had linked the defect to 13 deaths and 54 crashes. Underscoring the seriousness of the problem, safety advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers, however, said the real toll was likely to be much higher. ... Read More

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

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