Canadian transport officials are looking into whether the local unit of General Motors had delayed the recall of some cars, which could be a violation of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. According to Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, following a decision by United States to impose a $35-million fine against GM for its failure to recall vehicles with faulty ignition switches as soon as it became aware of the defects, she has given instructions to her officials to determine when GM Canada found out about the issue.
She remarked during a conference call that she wanted to know if GM Canada found out the defects at the same time as in the US. She said that a failure to promptly recall vehicles as soon as defects are known could be a violation of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
GM Canada issued a recall of 235,855 vehicles with faulty ignition switches just in February this year, the same time as GM in the US. GM Canada also issued three more recalls this week for 181,500 vehicles over various reasons.
GM has so far issued a total of 29 recalls for about 13.8 million vehicles in the US – with the callbacks of cars with faulty ignition switches the most unpopular. GM first knew of the problem – now linked to at least 13 deaths – over a decade ago, but only issued recalls in February 2014.
Raitt remarked that while it is clear that GM as a company delayed its response to the defects, it was important to uncover separately when GM Canada became aware of the problem before it took any action under Canadian law.