WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today provided an update on the committee’s investigation into General Motors Company’s (GM) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) response to consumer complaints related to stalling, airbag deployment, and ignition switch problems. GM announced a recall in February covering over 1.6 million vehicles worldwide to correct the problems, but reports indicate drivers first complained of the safety defects over 10 years ago. The company has stated that the defects may have been linked to 31 frontal crashes and a dozen fatalities. Committee staff has now been briefed by both NHTSA and GM on the recalls, and currently awaits production of the documents and information requested last week.
“Our staff has now received briefings from both GM and NHTSA as a first step in our investigation. These were initial discussions, and we expect the conversations to continue, but our focus is now on getting the documents and information we requested from both parties. These materials will provide a better understanding of the recalls, the extent of the problems, and the decisions made. We need to know why it took so long to connect the dots. Receiving this information from both GM and NHTSA is critical to understanding what happened, and how we can prevent such failures in the future,” said Chairman Upton.
Committee leaders last week sent letters to General Motors Company Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra and NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman requesting documents and information by March 25, 2014.