Congress hear­ings to put harsh spot­light on GM

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS NEWS -

Con­sult­ing ma­te­ri­als en­gi­neer Mark Hood shows the ig­ni­tion as­sem­bly which has a faulty 2005 ig­ni­tion switch (black piece at left), in the me­chan­i­cal test­ing lab­o­ra­tory at McSwain En­gi­neer­ing, Inc. in Pen­sacola, Florida, March 28, 2014.

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.

Democrats on the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee, which is hold­ing the first hear­ing, floated a new memo on Tues­day say­ing its anal­y­sis of documents found that GM still has not re­ported to federal reg­u­la­tors many cases in­volv­ing ig­ni­tion-switch con­cerns reg­is­tered by con­sumers and GM tech­ni­cians.

“At the same time GM was re­ceiv­ing these con­sumer com­plaints, the com­pany con­tin­ued to deny any de­fect,” the House Democrats’ memo said. The memo was re­fer­ring to 133 cases, some dat­ing from June 2003, with the “vast ma­jor­ity” un­re­ported.

The memo noted that while au­tomak­ers must pro­vide a broad sum­mary of war­ranty data to NHTSA, there cur­rently is no re­quire­ment that they proac­tively sub­mit war­ranty claims to the agency.

So far, GM has re­called 2.6 mil­lion cars to re­place ig­ni­tion switches that could un­ex­pect­edly stall out en­gines, pre­vent airbags from de­ploy­ing and make power brakes and power steer­ing in­op­er­a­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.