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.