U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) has announced that at a congressional hearing today she plans to ask General Motors how it plans to fix what has been described as its “lax corporate culture” and how it will compensate victims of crashes caused by faulty ignition switches, according to an Associated Press article appearing on CBS Denver.
The ranking member of the House committee investigating GM’s recall of 2.6 million small cars, DeGette said she wants to know how GM could have a corporate culture that was unable to “catch some of the safety problems and get them promptly fixed, even though they continually recurred,” AP reports.
Another article appearing on CBS Denver says that CBS4 investigator Rick Salinger visited used car lots in Denver and “found no shortage of those under recall for sale.” CBS Denver adds, “There is nothing illegal about [selling recalled cars] but it raises concern about those who might end up driving them.” According to the article, DeGette told Salinger, “These cars should absolutely not be sold or purchased without the repairs being done.”
AP writes that Danny Katz, of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), said:
‘When there’s been a problem clearly identified that is linked to injuries and fatalities, they need to get those cars off the road immediately, and it doesn’t look like that’s happening fast enough.’
CBS Denver recommends that anyone looking to buy a used GM car call any GM dealership with a car’s VIN number to learn if that car has been repaired.
GM recalled 3.36 million more cars for the ignition switch defects on Monday, which just about doubles the number of GM vehicles with known switch problems, reports Reuters in an article appearing in the Chicago Tribune. The latest recall is being made because ignition switches can be “jarred out of the ‘run’ position,” a problem that could affect power steering, power brakes, and air bags, Reuters writes.
An earlier recall of 2.6 million GM Cobalts and other small cars was also due to an ignition switch problem, one that has been linked to at least 13 deaths, Reuters writes. GM engineers first spotted the Cobalt problem more than 10 years ago, and the company’s slow response is under investigation by Congress, federal agencies, and the company itself.
GM says the latest recall has been linked to eight crashes and six injuries but no fatalities, Reuters writes. It affects Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac DeVille, and several other models, ranging from the model years 2000 through 2014. The Impala is the only one of those currently in production (with the upgrade of Impala lifting kit option), Reuters writes.
Reuters reports that GM has fired Ray DeGiorgio, the engineer who design both the defective Cobalt switches and the ones in the most recent recalled cars. The press agency was not able to reach DeGiorgio for comment.
This year alone, GM has issued 44 recalls, which total about 20 million cars worldwide — more than the annual total of all U.S. car sales, Reuters writes. GM’s recall-related expenses this year total $2 billion. And yet, GM’s U.S. sales in May of this year were the highest the company has had since August 2008, Reuters writes.