The delay of General Motors (GM) in revealing a deadly ignition switch defect continues to trouble consumers and regulatory agencies.
After a slow rolling recall picked up speed in February of this year, GM continues to address the growing scandal surrounding vehicle defects it denied for years.
At the center of the crises is a defective ignition switch. While GM engineers knew minor bumps could toggle the ignition switch from run to accessory mode as early as 2005, they failed to notify consumers or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To date, at least 13 fatalities are known.
While an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department remains ongoing, GM signed a Consent Decree in May of this year with NHTSA. Points of the Consent Decree include:
- GM agrees to pay NHTSA a $35 million penalty for its failure to notify the agency about the defect in a timely manner. The penalty represents the highest fine the agency can levy. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx urged legislators to increase the authority of NHTSA to impose fines of $50 to $100 million for future violations of this type.
- The Decree requires GM to make sweeping changes in its safety policies and procedures.
- GM agrees to long-term oversight of its safety practices by the federal government.
Of the Consent Decree, NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman stated, "It's critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers promptly report and remedy safety-related defects that have the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation's highways."
Recalls by other automakers continue to flood the news as Nissan, Ford, Toyota and others seek to avoid the fate of GM.
Confidence in the safety of your vehicle is essential. If injured through the negligence of others in Franklin County, talk to a skilled North Carolina injury lawyer.