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Newly released GM emails show order for parts to fix ignition months before recall

imagesBloomberg news reported this week the recent disclosure of GM e-mails from December, nearly 2-months before the recall, that show the company was working on a fix for its ignition switch problem at that time. This begs the question why the company didn’t issue an immediate recall in December.

Delphi Automotive, the British auto supplier that has a U.S. headquarters in Troy, Michigan, disclosed the emails. An attorney suing GM released them publically on Monday. The tone of the emails showed a growing sense of urgency on the part of GM. USA Today printed the following excerpts of the emails from GM to their switch supplier, Delphi. On December 18, 2013, an email mentioned a build and ship plan for a large volume totaling 500,000 or more pieces. In January, the emails grew more urgent, mentioning that “this issue is urgent” and “we need an immediate ship plan”. An email from GM to Delphi on February 13, 2014 advised that the safety issue regarding the part “was reported to the NHTSA today” and GM now had 60 days to notify all vehicle owners. That particular email mentioned 778,562 vehicles involved.

According to USA Today, of those vehicles involved in the recall, only 54.9% had been repaired as of last week. The ignition switch problem is linked to at least 32 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

CNN reported that more than 1 million GM cars with the defective ignition switch are still on the road. There has been at least one fatal accident involving a recalled car since the recall was announced. According to CNN, Lara Gass, 27, was killed in an accident on Interstate 81 in Virginia in March when her Saturn crashed into a tractor trailer. The lawyer running the victims’ compensation program for GM has already made an offer to the Gass family.

The Justice Department is in the midst of an investigation on GM’s handling of the delayed ignition switch recall. The Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as many state attorneys general and Canadian officials have launched their own investigations.

ABC News has reported that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan is investigating potential criminal actions by GM in its handling of the recall of 2.6 million older-model small cars nationwide.

GM engineers knew in 2003 that there was a problem with the switches, and eventually discovered that too much weight on the ignition key or a jostling of the ignition key could move it from the “run” to “accessory,” position, cutting power to the airbags and brakes.

If you have been injured in a car accident that was the result of a problem with a Chevy Cobalt or another GM vehicle, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys at 855-866-5529. The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are experts on the GM recall case, as well as other car, truck and bus accidents.

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