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NHTSA Faces Senate Questioning Over GM Recalls

GM has been called dysfunctional by outside investigators over the slew of igntion switch recall, but they are not solely responsible. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will face a Senate subcommittee probe looking at how the General Motors ignition switch recall was handled by the organization. It is the job of NHTSA to monitor safety defects in vehicles and issue a recall if one is warranted.

In this case, roughly 2.6 million cars were recalled nearly a decade after the first report of safety issues. The recalls are linked to at least 13 deaths.

The hearing will be held on Sept. 16, led by Senator Claire McCaskill, D.-Mo., who has already grilled GM’s top officials including CEO Mary Barra, and this time around will question David Friedman, NHTSA’s acting administrator. “I’m interested in the capability NHTSA has to get at problems. They’ve obviously missed some big ones,” McCaskill told The Detroit News.

SEE ALSO: GM Internal Investigation Uncovers Disturbing Details

Since the recalls, several bills have been introduced to strengthen NHTSA’s ability to be an effective safety watchdog for the auto industry. One such bill was introduced by McCaskill, calling for a removal of the $35 million cap on penalties for automakers that break auto safety laws. The bill is also seeking double the funding for NHTSA, and a liftetime jail sentence for auto executives that delay recalls that result in deaths.

[Source: Automotive News]

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