Since February, when General Motors first began recalling the 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, the safety issues have been plaguing the automaker.

It looks almost as if the No.1 US automaker never deemed safety as a priority and now – as it faces scrutiny from everywhere – from the Congress to the public – it suddenly discovered it has this “item” on its to do list.

In February, incoming CEO Mary Barra ordered the recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches – as the cars could suddenly have their engines cut off and lose critical safety systems, including the airbags. The automaker has connected the problem to at least 54 crashes and 13 deaths – although many – including the federal authority NHTSA – say the fatalities tally is actually much higher.

Besides the 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions and other models that are encompassed in the 11 years late recall, so far this year GM’s recall tally stands at 34, with around 14 million just in the US.

Following the mishandling of the ignition switch recall, GM ordered an outside internal review – resulting in the firing of 15 people, including one VP and two directors, according to reports – but is also under intense federal scrutiny. Of the five different federal probes, only the NHTSA one has concluded, with the automaker fined the maximum amount possible – $35 million.

Via Reuters


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