GM Facing NHTSA Investigation, Fine of up to $35 Million

2006 Pontiac Solstice 1 photo
Photo: Pontiac
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it has opened an investigation into the timeliness of GM’s recent ignition switch recall on about 1.36 million Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn models sold for the 2003-2007 model years.
Specifically, the NHTSA wants to find out if GM followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting US recalls in a problem that’s been linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths. Supposedly, the company knew about the ignition switch issue since 2004, which means it could also face a financial penalty is the agency finds GM delayed fixing the faulty part.

According to a statement released earlier this week, the recall affects the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and the 2007 Saturn Sky. In addition, Automotive News reports that European GM-owned brand Opel has also recalled 2,300 GT sportscars built for the 2007 model year.

In these vehicles, “the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine. If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury,” the safety agency said in a bulletin.

If the NHTSA probe concludes that GM failed to report the safety problem in five business days, as stated by federal regulations, the Detroit-based automaker could be forced to pay a financial penalty of up to $35 million.

Story via AutoNews
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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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