The Wall Street Journal has obtained emails that show that there is a greater cover-up involved in GM's defective ignition switches than originally known. Back on February 7, GM announced a large recall of several models of its cars, which had defective ignition switches, after notifying regulators of the problem.
The ignition switches, if weighted down by a heavy key ring, could bump out of place and shut off power to the vehicle, including the air bags. At least 32 deaths have been linked to the ignition switches. Since then, the recall has ballooned to 2.6 million cars.
GM has been under fire for its handling of the problem. Internal documents show that GM knew of the problem years before it became public, but did not recall the vehicles in order to save money, and to avoid bad publicity. CEO Mary Barra testified that she was not informed of the ignition switch problem until late December 2013. The recall occurred two months later.
The Wall Street Journal recently obtained emails showing that 500,000 replacement ignition switches were ordered on December 18, 2013. That was two months before the company notified federal regulators of the issue. The order was marked "urgent" and was placed a day after a meeting of senior executives.
These emails show that although GM was clearly aware of the problem, and in fact ordered half a million replacement switches, it did nothing for two months after placing the order. GM risked additional lives by failing to inform the public at that time, when it clearly knew of a problem with the vehicles.
GM has displayed horrible judgment throughout this recall process. For anyone injured by a GM defective ignition switch, or another defective automobile, help is available. Automakers are responsible for damages caused by defective automobiles. If you are in Houston and you wish to speak with an attorney about your automobile accident, call the Houston automobile accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 888-894-0119. Call us today to schedule a consultation, or visit us on Facebook for more information.