The United States Justice Department is launching an investigation into how General Motors handled the recall of 1.6 million vehicles that were equipped with faulty ignition switches.
At least 12 deaths are blamed on the bad switches which were first discovered in 2004, and now the company is being scrutinized by the Government to find out if any criminal or civil laws were violated over the timeliness on which GM reported the issue to federal regulators.
As part of the probe, the government has requested extensive records to do with the recall, including a timeline that outlines all of the interaction and communication between GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that relates to the faulty switches.
The US investigation will also be looking into NHTSA, to see if the regulatory body made a mistake in not investigating the ignition switches early on.
The issue stems from ignition switches which can cause the car to turn off, cancelling all of its safety systems including airbags. GM recommends that everything be taken off of your key ring, as heavy keys is enough to cause the problem.
This controversy stands to be the first test for new CEO Mary Barra (seen above), who took the position just two weeks before the recall was announced.
It was previously reported that there were 13 deaths as a result of this issue, but GM has clarified that one of the reports was submitted twice, so the number of deaths falls to 12.
[Source: Automotive News]
Discuss this story at our General Motors Forum