GM Ignition Switch Recall: NHTSA Issues 27-page Order

General Motors is in big big trouble! No, they’re not headed for bankruptcy again, but they have a lot of questions to answer in regard to their huge ignition switch-related vehicle recall. 107 questions, that is!
2006 Saturn Ion 1 photo
Photo: Saturn
They’re all included in the recent 27-page special order issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of a timeline query investigation of the Detroit-based automaker. The agency requests that GM provides answers to question about the event leading up to the recall, but it also asks for the documents that the company used to prepare the recall timeline.

Additionally, the NHTSA has also requested details about each of the 23 crashes linked to the faulty ignition switch, including all depositions and testimonies from lawsuits related to this issue (the ignition switch failures were linked to 13 deaths).

And that’s not all. The feds also want names an correspondence from any employee involved in efforts to investigate and isolate ignition switch failures going back to 2004 and specifics about the reason engineering modifications proposed in 2004/2005 were not implemented in production vehicles. More over, the NHTSA wants to find out why company president Alan Batey said GM’s “process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robuts as it should have been”.

We bet these requests will cause a lot of severe head aches at GM, especially as the NHTSA asked that the manufacturer must respond to the special order by April 3, 2014. “We are a data-driven organization, and we will take whatever action is appropriate based on where our findings lead us,” said NHTSA spokesperson Nathan Naylor.

The ignition switch recall was initially announced in mid-February, when GM said it will recall more than 600,000 units of the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5. Later the same month, the company updated the recall to include the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2006-2007 Saturn Sky. This recall also affects the 2007 Opel GT, which was sold in Europe, and the Canadian-market 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit.

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.

“We are deeply sorry and we are working to address this issue as quickly as we can,” Batey said when the final recall statement was released.

If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concludes that General Motors 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.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories