Report: NHTSA overruled recommendation to probe GM in 2007

Article by Christian A., on April 14, 2014

A review group at the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2007 overruled an investigator and determined that a probe will not be launched due a lack of a pattern over faulty ignition switches, according to documents recently released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

NHTSA back then found out that warranty claims over the Chevrolet Cobalt’s air bags were around four times higher than for rival units. The regulator also found out that they had customer complaints, crash reports and GM’s descriptions of the fault.

E-mails and memos like these do not only supported claims that GM delayed its response over defects, they also provide reasons why the government decided decision not to act on the defect.

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, remarked that everything in the memo suggests that NHTSA should have opened a defect investigation as the numbers are off the charts. The US Congress and the Justice Department are probing the chain of events that steered the carmaker to wait over a decade before recalling 2.59 million small cars.

NHTSA’s acting administrator, David Friedman, told a US Senate panel on April 2 that the agency didn’t recommend a probe in 2007 since the Cobalt and Ion didn’t stand out compared to rival vehicles. Calvin Scovel, inspector general of the Transportation Department, is reviewing whether NHTSA acted properly over the matter.

GM chief executive Mary Barra has apologized and ordered an internal probe into the issue. Her name appeared in only one document released by the committee -- a memo to her containing brief context on a news story over a previous Cobalt recall for steering issues.

According to a memo from Gregory Magno, chief of the agency’s Defects Assessment Division, while the papers didn’t indicate the reasons why NHTSA decided against a probe, GM officials said they saw “no specific problem pattern.” Friedman told senators the NHTSA doesn’t have complete records to show why it overruled the recommendation.

Topics: nhtsa, gm

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

British luxury automaker Aston Martin celebrates its new partnership with the Henley Royal Regatta sporting event by designing a one-off DB11 sports car that they recently revealed. The car explores...
by - June 28, 2017
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat as we know, is the Demon's less powerful sibling, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But have you ever imagined how it would look...
by - June 28, 2017
Sorry Uber, but Handsome Cabs taxi company has something no one else can offer - a Lamborghini Huracan that can take their clients from Point A to Point B. This...
by - June 28, 2017
BMW saw a potential oil leak on the new M760Li, prompting them to recall the said vehicle last April. Today, a little over two months after issuing the first recall,...
by - June 28, 2017
Without a doubt, the SUV segment is getting increasingly more saturated. This month alone, we were greeted with city-oriented SUVs from the Kia Stonic to the Hyundai Kona, and now...
by - June 27, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries