The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seems to be demanding more answers from General Motors over the recent recall of older vehicles. The government administration is requesting that General Motors turn over thousands of documents and other data to determine whether the company knew and when they knew about the dangerous ignition problems that has been linked to 13 car crash deaths. General Motors reply is due by April 3, 2014. According to General Motors, they are cooperating, however this does not seem to of been the level of cooperation that was demanded of General Motors over the last decade.
General Motors has issued a global recall of 1.6 million older model compact cars. Additionally, the auto manufacturer has admitted it knew of the ignition troubles a decade ago but didn’t recall the cars until February 2014. However, automakers are required to inform the NHTSA of safety defects within five days of discovering them. In the event the government safety agency determines GM delayed its response or withheld evidence, GM could be fined up to $35 million. This amount of a fine would set a record for NHTSA, but it pales in comparison to General Motors’ profits last year of $3.8 billion.
NHTSA seeks answers to questions about when GM discovered the ignition problem in 2004, as well as the identity of employees involved in finding and replicating it. GM is also being ordered to produce what fixes it considered including the lead time required, and the cost and effectiveness of each solution. Vehicles include 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5’s (2005-2007), 842,000 Saturn Ion compacts (2003-2007), and Chevrolet HHR SUV’s and Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky sports cars (2006-2007).