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NHTSA takes blame for investigation failures related to GM defect

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015   

The NHTSA acknowledges their part in the ten-year failure to recall GM vehicles equipped with a defective ignition switch in a recently issued report, according to the Washington Post on June 5.

The report stated that important facts were withheld by GM, including changes in engineering. Despite this, the NHTSA did not investigate thoroughly enough or understand the automaker’s air bag technology well enough to identify the issue. The issue, which reports stated would have taken 57 cents to replace in each vehicle, resulted in the deaths of over 100 people and the injuries of hundreds more.

Mark Rosekind, who became the administrator for the federal safety agency six months ago, issued another report simultaneously with the critique of the agency’s work—a report on how the NHTSA will move forward from this in a constructive way. According to Rosekind, new policies are already in the works, including one that would mandate all automakers to share safety investigations that are in progress.

To effectively change the agency, however, the NHTSA would need 380 workers meant to enforce defect issues; this would require about $89 million.

The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who joined Rosekind in a conference call with reporters, summarized the news of the critique when he said, “Defective agencies, like defective people, need the capacity for self-reflection and to make room for self-improvement. And that is what NHTSA is doing today.”

The legal team at Pohl & Berk, LLP, holds automakers accountable when a defect has led to injury and expense. Call us at (615) 277-2765 today to begin taking action.

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