Amid at least 3 investigations, like a federal criminal probe, new records present GM may possibly have identified in 2003 about the ignition-switch issue that led to the latest recall of one.37 million U.S. little cars from the mid-2000s. That is a 12 months earlier than initially thought. The problem, in which the airbags are disarmed when the ignition gets jarred to the Off or Accessory position foremost up to a crash, has been linked to 12 deaths and 31 incidents the place airbags failed to deploy.
Far more on GM’;s Ignition-Switch Recall
The Detroit News reviews that documents sent by GM to the National Highway Site visitors Safety Administration chronicle that in 2003, a support technician found a customer’;s Saturn Ion — one of 6 recalled nameplates — stalled while driving. The technician concluded that the customer’;s key-laden keychain “had worn out the ignition switch,” according to the Detroit Information.
GM also disclosed that it noted an ignition-switch problem in a preproduction Ion in 2001, but it resolved the problem with an up to date switch. The relation to the recent recall is unclear, however.
The automaker claims its analysis incorporated reviewing information from crashes involving the Ion, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky cars. The Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 also are part of the recall. “Today’;s GM is completely committed to understanding from the previous while embracing the highest requirements for top quality and functionality now and in the potential,” spokesman Alan Adler informed the Detroit Information.
But NHTSA — itself dealing with queries from Congress on how it handled the matter — mentioned it did not get “timely information” from GM, acting administrator David Friedman informed Bloomberg News on Tuesday. The agency has sent GM a checklist of 107 queries it expects solutions by April 3.