GM warned since 2002 of safety/quality problems image

According to new documents coming from a former GM corporate quality audit head, in letters he sent to the automaker’s board he warned of potential safety defects similar to the faulty ignition switch back in 2002.

The contents of the letter haven’t been previously made public, although the author of the letter did send last week copies to the members of House and Senate committees that investigate GM’s actions in relation to the mishandling of the ignition switch recall.

William McAleer, the former leader of the group that oversaw quality checks on vehicles delivered in the North American region, said in his letter that the company should “stop the continued shipment of unsafe vehicles” and “recall suspect vehicles that were already in customers’ hands.”

“We are conducting what we believe is the most exhaustive and comprehensive safety review in the history of the company, and that includes looking at vehicles that were built in the late 1990s. And if we find anything that is a safety issue, we will act,” said on the issue GM spokesman Jim Cain.

McAleer sent in 2002 copies of the letter to each GM director of the time (they were 12), including then CEO Rick Wagoner and then Chairman John Smith. Court fillings also show that the former executive tried unsuccessfully to file lawsuits against the company, mainly seeking whistleblower protection.

Via Reuters