DOT’s Foxx seeks probe into NHTSA’s dealing with of GM defect

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx has named for an inquiry led by Calvin Scovel, the DOT’;s inspector general.

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WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has asked the agency’s inner watchdog to investigate whether or not federal auto safety officials appropriately looked into complaints about the 1.6 million automobiles that GM recalled in February for defective ignition switches.

GM has linked at least 31 crashes and twelve front-seat fatalities to the faulty switch, which can be knocked out of place, cutting electrical power to the engine and airbags.

In spite of having data of these fatal crashes, the Nationwide Highway Site visitors Safety Administration in no way started a defect investigation prior to GM’s recall — a failure that has drawn scrutiny from auto safety advocates and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

NHTSA has begun an internal “due diligence overview.” But now Foxx has known as for an inquiry led by Calvin Scovel, the Division of Transportation’s inspector general.

“In response to various queries raised by members of Congress, the Department of Transportation asked our Inspector General’s office to conduct an audit to provide a single, extensive evaluation of NHTSA’s perform in this situation,” NHTSA mentioned in a statement. “In the meantime, we continue to be focused on making sure GM addresses its recall as quickly as feasible for shoppers and continuing our personal aggressive investigation regarding the timing of their recall.”

GM recalled one.62 million cars in February, including now-discontinued designs like the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Saturn Ion, to change the ignition switches.

The company’s CEO, Mary Barra, will testify ahead of the Residence Power and Commerce Committee on April one, as will David Friedman, NHTSA’s acting administrator. Each will be beneath extreme strain to clarify why the autos, sold as far back as model year 2003, have been not recalled for more than a decade regardless of GM conceding that it saw indicators of difficulties with the ignition switch as far back as 2001.

“We need to have to know why it took so extended to connect the dots,” Power and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., mentioned in a statement Tuesday.

Foxx’s request said the audit is intended to “ensure that DOT and NHTSA have a complete knowing of the facts relating to the GM recall and can consider corrective actions to increase NHTSA’s safety function to the extent needed and suitable.”

The Detroit Information reported on the request earlier Friday.

You can attain Gabe Nelson at

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