Congressional probe finds GM failed to install fixes to defect twice

 

General Motors officials discussed two separate fixes for an ignition switch defect but decided not to move forward with them, according to a memo a House subcommittee released late Sunday.

Thirteen people died when ignition switches moved out of position, causing cars to stall, reports have said.

In early 2005, GM engineers met to discuss the problem but one person advised against any fixes because the switch was “very fragile.”

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Changes to improve the switch were eventually canceled because they would take too long to install and would be too expensive, the memo said. GM also approved a change in late 2005 but then canceled it, too.

Lawmakers released the memo ahead of a Tuesday House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing into GM’s decision to recall 2.6 million of these faulty cars. 

The congressional probe also found the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considered investigating defective GM vehicles as early as 2007.

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), chairman of the subcommittee, said on “CBS This Morning” that he wants to know why the federal regulator didn’t become more involved. 

“I don't think that GM and NHTSA were talking to each other adequately, and it may be that the different departments at GM weren't talking to each other,” he said. “We need to find out why.”