Eric's Feed
Apr 16, 2014

GM faced a Cadillac ignition switch issue in 2006

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors engineers reported accidentally turning off ignition switches in a Cadillac SRX with their knees more than eight years ago, and they ordered a similar fix to a similar problem in smaller, cheaper cars linked to 13 deaths, according to documents from parts maker Delphi Automotive.

The documents, provided to U.S. safety regulators, show GM used the same part, from the Cadillac Catera, to make ignition switches more difficult to turn off on the 2007 Cadillac SRX and the 2007 Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt. Delphi supplied the GM-designed switches for all of those models.

Apr 12, 2014

Documents show GM’s early knowledge of switch defect

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors engineers were well aware of serious problems with ignition switches in GM small cars, but rejected several opportunities to make fixes, according to dozens of confidential documents released on Friday by a Congressional committee investigating the deadly defect.

Parts supplier Delphi Automotive also repeatedly tested switches and found they did not meet GM specifications, according to emails and other memos.

Apr 11, 2014

Documents show GM’s sluggish response to deadly defect

WASHINGTON/DETROIT, April 11 (Reuters) – Documents made
public on Friday by a U.S. House of Representatives committee
provided fresh details on General Motors Co’s awareness
of problems surrounding ignition switches in millions of its
cars – long before the Detroit automaker recalled the vehicles.

These documents also show that federal regulators were
concerned that GM dragged its heels on safety measures at a time
when ignition-switch failures in some of its smaller vehicles
were being linked to deaths that now total 13.

Apr 2, 2014

U.S. senator accuses GM of ‘culture of cover-up’ in recalls

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) – General Motors came under
withering attack for its decade-long failure to notify the
public about defective parts linked to fatal crashes, as a U.S.
Senate hearing opened on Wednesday with accusations that the
company fostered “a culture of cover-up.”

Rebutting some of GM CEO Mary Barra’s testimony to a House
panel on Tuesday that GM had recently cleaned up its act,
Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who chairs a Senate
subcommittee on consumer protection and product safety, told
Barra: “It might have been the Old GM that started sweeping this
defect under the rug 10 years ago. Even under the New GM banner,
the company waited nine months to take action after being
confronted with specific evidence of this egregious violation of
public trust.”

Apr 2, 2014

CEO Barra calls GM’s actions on deadly defect ‘unacceptable’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors Co CEO Mary Barra on Tuesday called her company’s slow response to at least 13 deaths linked to faulty ignition switches “unacceptable,” but could not give U.S. lawmakers many answers as to what went wrong as she pointed to an ongoing internal investigation.

After taking an oath administered by House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy, Barra kicked off the contentious hearing by declaring, “I am deeply sorry” for the company’s failure to respond quickly to the safety problem and subsequent deaths.

Apr 1, 2014

GM CEO says idea cost may have delayed ignition fix ‘disturbing’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors CEO Mary Barra, under intense grilling by members of the U.S. Congress, on Tuesday said she found employee statements “disturbing” that cost considerations may have discouraged the prompt replacement of faulty ignition switches now linked to at least 13 fatalities.

Barra, whose testimony was being delivered under oath before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, announced that GM had retained Kenneth Feinberg as a consultant to gauge possible responses to families of those injured or killed in crashes involving the recalled cars.

Apr 1, 2014

U.S. Congress hearings to put harsh spotlight on GM

WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress will try
to establish who is to blame for at least 13 auto-related deaths
over the past decade, as public hearings are launched on Tuesday
on General Motors’ slow response to defective ignition
switches in cars.

Despite tougher laws being enacted in 2000 and 2010 to
encourage automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) to aggressively root out safety concerns,
it took GM more than 10 years to acknowledge publicly that it
had a potentially fatal problem.

Mar 19, 2014

U.S. FAA review says Boeing 787 Dreamliner is safe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which was grounded for more than three months last year after batteries overheated, is soundly designed and safe to fly, a joint review by the planemaker and the Federal Aviation Administration said on Wednesday.

The review, which was initiated by the FAA after a battery fire aboard a 787 in Boston in January 2013, encompassed the entire plane, not specifically the battery issue.

Mar 16, 2014

Owners of recalled GM cars feel angry, vindicated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As details emerge about how General Motors Co dealt with faulty ignition switches in some of its models, car owners are increasingly angry after learning that the automaker knowingly allowed them to drive defective vehicles.

Saturn Ion owner Nancy Bowman of Washington, Michigan, said she is outraged that GM allowed her to drive a “death trap.” She said her car had so many ignition problems she was afraid to resell it to an innocent buyer.

Mar 11, 2014

Hersman, public face of U.S. transportation safety, steps down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Deborah Hersman, who headed the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board during high-profile investigations into plane crashes and other transit mishaps, said on Tuesday she would leave the agency in April.

Hersman’s surprise departure comes as the NTSB is gearing up help with the investigation into the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on Saturday about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur with 239 passengers and crew.