GM Accused of Cover-up in Faulty Ignition Switch Recall. Chevy Cobalt Subject of Many Investigations.
Senators grilled General Motors CEO Mary Barra this week about the years of delays in recalling vehicles with faulty ignition switches, and accusing GM of a cover-up to hide the problem that caused at least 13 fatal accidents.
Bara told the house committee that she first heard there was a problem with the Chevrolet Cobalt in December, while GM’s senior management was apprised of the full matter on January 31, when the company announced its initial recall of Chevrolet, Saturn, and Pontiac vehicles.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut spoke up during the senate hearing telling Barra that he though “it’s pretty much incontrovertible that GM knew about the safety defect, failed to correct it…and then concealed it from the courts and the United States.”
Internal documents show the company knew about problems with the switch for at least a decade, but recalls did not begin until this February. GM has recalled about 2.6 million vehicles worldwide to replace the ignition switch. The switches in the recalled cars might move out of the “run” position while underway, shutting off the engine, cutting power assist to the steering and brakes and possibly preventing front airbags from inflating in a crash.
Blumenthal put increased pressure on GM to tell owners of the recalled U.S. vehicles that they are unsafe and should be parked immediately. He sent a letter to Barra asking for stronger GM warnings about the recalled cars’ safety. Neither GM nor a judge can force individuals to quit driving their cars, but the judge can order GM to tell owners emphatically to quit driving.
According to CNN, GM has recalled nearly 7 million vehicles so far this year, almost as many cars and trucks as it recalled in the United States and over the last four years combined. The latest was earlier this week when GM recalled 1.3 million vehicles to fix a problem in power steering.
One car that stands out as a problem vehicle for GM is the Chevy Cobalt. The car is the subject of many investigations. According to court documents uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, GM knew the faulty ignition problem when prepping the release of the 2005 Cobalt, but opted to release the car anyway. GM engineers received reports about problems with the ignition switch in this vehicle as early as 2005, but decided against a fix, because it would take too long and cost too much money. The first death related to the faulty ignition switch problem occurred that same year.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a Chevy Cobalt or another GM vehicle, please call Dan Munley at Munley Law at 855-866.5529.
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