Congress hearing reveals GM neglected prior warnings of ignition defects image

General Motors, as its CEO Mary Barra once more presented in front of the US congress, was accused by the lawmakers of a “disturbing pattern” of neglecting safety issues as they revealed new documents that point out to blatant dismissal of recall warnings.

After GM first announced in February a recall that would encompass 2.6 million cars that were equipped with a defective ignition switch – tied to at least 54 crashes and 13 deaths, just last week the automaker discovered another slew of models that were affected by problems with the same part – totaling nearly 4 million cars.

During the hearing before the Congress, the lawmakers presented documents that show that one of the models involved in the recall, a 2006 Chevy Impala Special car was driven by a GM employee who experienced a stall.

“I think this is a serious safety problem, especially if this switch is on multiple programs. I’m thinking big recall,” said employee Laura Andres in a 2005 email to 11 other colleagues, including the vice president of North American engineering.

The warning was neglected, with the lawmakers seeking answers about the apparent pattern of neglect – Barra saying after the hearing that now the company considers any stall a potential safety issue and investigates them thoroughly.

Via Reuters