Senate to hold hearing on GM recalls

The Senate committee that oversees transportation issues will hold a hearing on recalls that have been issued for several General Motors’ cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a recall on the ignition switch of several mid-2000’s GM models.

The agency has said that the switches experience problems, including turning off motors and disabling airbags, when they are used heavier key rings.

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The NHTSA recall calls for drivers to "use only the ignition key with nothing else on the key ring" and take their automobiles in for repairs as soon as possible. The recalls covers 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstices and 2007 Saturn Skies.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said Wednesday that it was planning to hold a hearing on April 2 to examine both GM and the highway and traffic safety administration’s role in the recall.

The committee said the problems with the ignition switches in GM cars has resulted in 12 deaths and the panel said the recall has affected 1.6 million cars.

Officials with the Senate transportation committee said the hearing will focus in particular on “GM’s decisions over a more than 10-year period to not issue a safety recall and will consider whether the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the capability, data, and resources to effectively monitor vehicle safety defects.”