GM testifying for recalling 10 years too late

Sam Scorzo Contributor
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General Motors, the current No. 1 U.S. automaker, will testify on Tuesday about not recalling their vehicles even after a dangerous glitch was discovered as far back as 10 years ago.

The glitch, flawed ignition switches, traces back to 2004 and has caused at least 13 deaths.

Flawed ignition switches can turn the car off when driving, switching the ignition from “run” to “accessory.” This also causes the airbags, the power steering and the anti-lock brakes to turn off in the process.

“Sitting here today, I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced … but I can tell you that we will find out,” Co-Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a testimony posted on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee website. “When we have answers, we will be fully transparent with you, with our regulators, and with our customers.”

Barra took over in January and acted fast in posting the recall that affected 2.6 million vehicles worldwide in February 2014. Barra also apologized for the company’s slow reaction and for the resulting deaths.

“Whatever mistakes were made in the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now and in the future,” she said. “Today’s GM will do the right thing.”

However, in terms of transparency and not shirking from responsibilities, the company hasn’t released the names of the 13 who died or contacted their families, and in court the company has denied liability for the deaths that occurred before their 2009 bankruptcy, according to CNN.

In a lawsuit, it was found that GM changed the design for the switches in 2006 after reported problems, but still did not issue a recall, according to NBC News.

The lawsuit was brought against GM by Ken Melton, whose daughter Brooke died in an ignition switch related crash in 2010.

According to NBC, Melton deems the company’s reaction too little, too late, and said, “our daughter might still be here today” if information they had was revealed.

This testimony comes only a day after GM recalled 1.3 million vehicles for possible power steering problems.

CNN reports that the company expects to “take a charge of about $750 million this quarter, primarily due to recall-related costs.”