Democrats on the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee bound to hold a hearing over General Motors’ handling of the faulty ignition switch recall has identified the GM engineer responsible for approving the redesign of the defective part for the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt in 2006.
Ray DeGiorgio is the same engineer who denied during a court deposition in 2013 that he knows that the faulty switch ignition was changed. The committee members asserted in a letter to GM chief executive Mary Barra that the redesigned switch still failed to meet the carmaker’s minimum specifications, citing testing done at the time by supplier Delphi Automotive.
This means that switches installed in 2008-2011 model year vehicles are defective, disproving statements by GM that only switches built before the 2006 redesign were faulty. GM recently recalled the 2008-2011 cars, saying it was to ensure that defective switches were not fitted as replacement parts during repair work.
According to GM, around 5,000 defective switches had been used for repairs in 2008-2011 vehicles. GM, however, would replace the defective part in all 824,000 “out of an abundance of caution” since determining which vehicles have a defective switch “isn’t practical.” Democrats on the committee remarked that was not the whole story.
The letter, signed by Reps. Henry Waxman of California, Diana DeGette of Colorado and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said that Delphi has confirmed that the testing results mean that the ignition switches installed in 2008-2011 vehicles failed to meet GM performance specifications.