The “new” GM seems to have a big reputation crisis on their hands, while also facing the possibility of civil and even criminal actions against it for the handling of the ignition switch recall.
Besides the investigation on the actual recall, NHTSA decided to open an additional one to clarify how General Motors, the No.1 US automaker handled the recall and how fast it reacted.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls,” the safety agency said in a statement.
According to law, GM could face a fine of $35 million if it didn’t notify NHTSA within five days after learning of a safety defect – reports have been actually saying that the company found out about the faulty ignition switch problem as far as 2005.
While initially calling back only two vehicle models from the 2005-2007 model year, later on it recalled an additional four models to a total tally of more than 1.6 million units. The biggest problem for GM however, besides the cost of the recall and of an eventual fine is the lawsuits that will follow – especially since there are already 13 fatalities linked to the defect.