Lawmakers assail ‘disturbing pattern’ of safety failures at GM

Article by Christian A., on June 21, 2014

The third appearance of GM chief executive Mary Barra before the United States Congress over the carmaker’s handling of the ignition switch issue appears nowhere more pleasant than her previous trips. Armed with more information and accompanied by some of her best lieutenant, Barra continued to be bombarded with tough questions on the “disturbing pattern” of safety failures at the carmaker from US lawmakers.

GM has so far issued 44 recalls this year, including the infamous faulty ignition switch tied to at least 13 deaths. The carmaker has so far recalled over 20 million vehicles, of which almost 6.5 million were called back for ignition switch-related issues.

During the Wednesday hearing at the Capitol Hill, a number of e-mails related to the issues were made public, including one sent by GM employee Laura Andres in 2005 to engineers providing a warning that a 2006 Chevrolet Impala Special car had experienced an engine stall when moving between a paved road and gravel.

According to the exchanges, a technician had advised her that the problem may lie with the ignition switch. Andres sent an e-mail to 11 other GM employees -- including the vice president of North American engineering – saying that the issue was a serious safety problem, “especially if this switch is on multiple programs.”

She added that there could a big recall in the making. GM did not issue a recall of the MY2006 Impala until June 16, 2014, adding to the large number of called back cars due to the ignition-switch issue.

In February and March, GM called back 2.6 million cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt, for a separate ignition switch glitch that may lead a car to inadvertently stall, thereby disabling air bags, power steering and power brakes.

An internal probe found that GM failed to acknowledge warnings about the faulty ignition switch for more than a decade. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton remarked that the recall of the 2006 Chevrolet Impalas “appears to follow the same disturbing pattern as the Cobalt breakdown." [source: Reuters]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Before the W177 goes on sale in 2018, Mercedes-Benz had to go back to the drawing board to check on the A Class’ interior. This is because the new model...
by - November 24, 2017
If you see the Aston Martin’s 2018 Vantage, you would think that it is significantly different from most of Aston’s GT lineup. For instance, if the DB11 is a fine...
by - November 24, 2017
Even as Chevrolet is making a huge splash in the industry with the recent launch of the new Corvette ZR1, there may be trouble brewing. Chevrolet has announced huge discounts...
by - November 24, 2017
The 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD has arrived this week at the snowy mountains in Colorado for its winter long debut. GMC’s tracked Sierra Mountain Concept will be on display at...
by - November 24, 2017
We’re willing to bet that the Bentley Bentayga is not the first thing that comes to mind for most people who are into off-roading and outdoor activities. It just doesn’t...
by - November 23, 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