General Motors has revealed in fillings that although its engineers knew about four fatalities in crashes involving the Saturn Ion model, the company still waited two weeks before issuing the recall for that model as well.
On February 7, General Motors recalled more than 600,000 Chevrolet Cobalts to fix a potential ignition switch problem that caused the engine and other essential safety systems to be turned off while driving. Later on February 25 it went on to expand the same recall to several models, including the Saturn Ion to a tally of more than 1.6 million vehicles.
Now, General Motors amended a filling sent to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in which it previously said it first found out about the potential hazard on the Cobalt first in 2004. The amended filling now says the company identified the problem in preproduction testing of the Ion model, back in 2001!
At the moment, the switch problem has been linked, according to the company to more at least 34 crashes that lead to at least 12 deaths. The US senate, the congress, regulators and the company itself is now investigating why it took so long to address the problem and make the recall.