Emails show NHTSA official felt GM often lagged on safety

Filed under: Auctions, Government/Legal, Recalls, GM

General Motors Recall Congress

Federal safety regulators had grown frustrated with what they felt was the company’s indifferent attitude toward safety issues.

General Motors has attempted to distance itself from a widening crisis over its botched handling of a deadly defect by dividing its company history into two distinct periods. The “old” GM existed prior to the company’s 2009 bankruptcy and conducted itself one way, and the “new” GM that emerged from the bankruptcy with a renewed commitment to quality and safety.

But documents released Friday in connection with a Congressional investigation into why GM waited so long to recall defective ignition switches showed that, since the bankruptcy, federal safety regulators had grown frustrated with what they felt was the company’s indifferent attitude toward safety issues.

Top officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and General Motors exchanged emails on July 23, 2013 in advance of a face-to-face meeting to discuss the issues. In the exchange, Frank Borris, the director of NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation, says, “the general perception is that GM is slow to communicate, slow to act, and, at times, requires additional effort of ODI that we do not feel is necessary with some of your peers.”

Borris then lists six separate occasions, all of which occurred between 2011 and 2013, in which NHTSA felt General Motors had not taken timely or necessary actions regarding safety concerns. A GM spokesperson said Saturday, “We strive to provide timely and accurate information to our regulators.”

The allegations of foot-dragging take on heightened importance in the context of the multiple federal investigations into General Motors’ failure to swiftly recall more than 2.5 million vehicles afflicted with an ignition-switch defect that has claimed the lives of at least 13 motorists and caused at least 31 crashes in a timely fashion.

Continue reading Emails show NHTSA official felt GM often lagged on safety

Emails show NHTSA official felt GM often lagged on safety originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 12 Apr 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

About Pete Bigelow