Regulators failed to open investigations into GM twice

GM has recalled nearly 3 million vehicles citing numerous safety problems.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   March 31, 2014 at 10:54 AM

A congressional committee investigating GM's decade of recalls for faulty ignitions has found that both General Motors and federal regulators declined to open formal investigations twice after receiving complaints about the cars.

An official in the office of defect safety assessment at GM noticed an issue with the airbag deployment in the vehicles in 2007, and recommended the company open an investigation. After several meetings, GM decided they did not agree and did not open an investigation.

There were also opportunities for the car company to solve problems and defects with their cars and failed to do so for reasons that remain unclear. When they were first provided with the ignitions in 2002, the auto-parts supplier Delphi told GM to notify them if the ignitions did not meet specifications, but GM accepted the parts as they were.

Perhaps the most condemning piece of evidence against GM is that GM engineers noticed the problem with the ignitions. However, in an internal review, they said they did not have enough lead time to fix the problem, and due to its large potential expense, there would be no business case for opening an investigation and remedying the issue.

GM CEO Mary Barra will testify before Congress Tuesday.


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