Thursday, April 17, 2014
In continuing coverage of the GM faulty ignition switch crisis, Bloomberg News (4/17, Plungis, 2.76M) reports that NHTSA released documents on Wednesday revealing that GM engineers discovered the problem with faulty ignition switches accidently turning off Cadillac SRXs in 2006. GM Spokesman Greg Marin said that the design of the ignition in the SRX was changed before the car was put into production. Bloomberg reports that Delphi, the supplier of the faulty ignition switch, responded to a NHTSA inquest with documents showing that it supplied the ignition switches to the SRX.
Reuters (4/17, Lienert, Beech) reports that it is not yet known whether earlier models of the SRX suffered from ignition switch problems.
The Detroit (MI) News (4/17, Burden, 643K) reports that the design of the new, post-2006 SRX ignition switch was a more improved design that GM had rejected in 2001 in favor of the faulty ignition switches. Former NHTSA administrator Joan Claybrook, and Clarence Ditlow, the Center for Auto Safety wrote MG CEO Mary Barra asking her to explain why the company did not implement the safer switch in 2001.
The Detroit (MI) Free Press (4/17, Spangler, 1.02M) reports that US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is asking that a US bankruptcy court not allow GM to receive protection from liability claims prior to its 2009 bankruptcy. Blumenthal says that GM intends “to use the bankruptcy process to prevent many victims and their families from obtaining relief for the harms they have suffered.” He argues that GM “should do right by these victims and establish a compensation fund that will make them whole.”
Automotive News (4/16, LaReau, 199K) reports that GM has revised the process of how its dealers will order parts for the recall, though many dealers still do not know when they will receive their parts for the recall.
Also reporting on the GM crisis are the Detroit (MI) Free Press, (4/17, Priddle, 1.02M) NBC News (4/17, 7.5M), the AP (4/17), The Hill (4/17, Laing, 237K), and the Christian Science Monitor (4/17, Guarino, 566K).GM seeks to confirm product liability shield. USA Today (4/17, Spangler, 5.82M) reports that General Motors “is asking a bankruptcy judge in New York to confirm its shield from liability lawsuits tied to crashes or defects occurring before its bankruptcy.” A Federal judge in San Francisco “has scheduled arguments for April 25 in a class-action case from a group owners of cars that are part of GM’s vehicle recall,” but on Friday, GM “asked the judge to delay any ruling until it can get a bankruptcy judge in New York to reaffirm the liability protection granted to it in 2009.” The liability shield “could void the class-action lawsuit.”