Skip to comments.Senators accuse GM of trying to cover up defective switch tied to 13 deaths
Posted on 04/02/2014 3:35:15 PM PDT by alloysteel
Members of a Senate subcommittee accused General Motors of trying to cover up problems with an ignition switch that is now tied to 13 deaths, and pressed CEO Mary Barra to commit to punishing anyone involved.
Panel members also told Barra that GM should tell owners to stop driving all the 2.6 million cars being recalled for the faulty switch until they are repaired. GM is currently telling owners the cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions, are fine to drive as long as nothing is placed on the key chain.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
I doubt I could care less what happen to Government Motors.
Anything owned and run by the anti-American UAW needs to fall apart.
And it will.
It’s defective people, not switches!
A friend of mine that had a tune up and dyno shop over 30 years ago was constantly having the problem when switches on the column came out.
The problem was people having a whole lot of keys on the ring/chain dangling below the ignition which was messing up the switches.
That was all makes nor just GM.
Congress can go stick their investigation up their ass!!!
Hey, wasn’t Obama CEO of Government Motors? Impeach him!
Henry Waxman doesn’t know how to deal with a real reporter about this issue.
They’ve been building cars since when, 1889?
Why is it they keep having to recall cars for faulty components they should have perfected by about 1903?
Not to absolve GM of blame but how is this causing people to crash?
“The problem was people having a whole lot of keys on the ring/chain dangling below the ignition which was messing up the switches.”
Obviously, this is a bad policy and a safety hazard for the driver EVEN WITH switches that work perfectly.
What I find highly disturbing about what happened, is that GM changed the part without changing the part number. In the manufacturing environments I’ve worked in, that behavior would get you fired very quickly, up to the managers who permitted/ignored it.
The reason is, manufacturing must have traceability for liability and safety agency reasons. Suppose that you have a recall of an electrical, UL-approved product for a safety reason. What would you rather do - recall and eat the expense of units between serial number 000234 and 003456, or every single product of that type you ever made, up to serial number 856,456?
It is not like it is floor mats or something. /s
Were the switches made in China?
“Why is it they keep having to recall cars for faulty components they should have perfected by about 1903?”
The government’s fingerprints are on this. modern cars have to have their steering locked if the key is removed. The cheapest way to do this is to put the lock on the steering column itself. On my older Mercedes, the key/lock is on the dash, and this type of problem is flat impossible mechanically.
There shouldn’t be a recall. it’s defect people not defective switches!
I have no sympathy for stupid people getting killed, the more the better!
Plenty of comments about the growing danger of increased safety equipment in this thread from yesterday.
In this GM case, from what I’ve read, steering lock isn’t even part of the problem. As far as I can tell, this causes a loss of power and the airbags don’t deploy. It doesn’t explain how it causes people to crash.
“I have no sympathy for stupid people getting killed, the more the better!”
You and I probably do or have earned a living from the vagaries of “stupid people”. Dead stupid people are terrible customers.
The bottom line is, that mechanism/switch is supposed to withstand repeated hammer blows to significant government standards. So, it can’t survive 6 ounces of keys??? You think that to be an acceptable design?
“In this GM case, from what Ive read, steering lock isnt even part of the problem. As far as I can tell, this causes a loss of power the airbags dont deploy. It doesnt explain how it causes people to crash.”
The steering column MAY lock. Also, many cars have power steering and/or brakes. Newer cars can have electric power steering. A sudden increase in steering effort might make a big difference in accident avoidance capability.
“You think that to be an acceptable design?”
I was surprised that the airbags don’t deploy if the engine somehow is shut off. I thought they deployed on impact. That sounds like something drivers should know.
Back when I worked for a company that made interior Cadillac door skins we had some 60,000 doors come back to replace studs inside the doors.
Seems that the studs were too long and snagged the air bags when they deployed.
GM saved .57 cents per ignition device. Email found stated that was too costly. They could have spent $100 million several years ago in a recall but decided against that. The cost is at least $1.5 billion now and many more people have been killed or injured.
All for .57 cents.
The people who decided this no doubt got a nice bonus check for money saved....
“I was surprised that the airbags dont deploy if the engine somehow is shut off. I thought they deployed on impact.
I will bet that is by design. The sensors certainly would consume SOME power; and the risk of the bags going off accidentally while parked/engine off might be greater than having the capability of having airbags go off while parked with the engine off (having an airbag go off while you are not entirely in the car seat can definitely kill you). The only people who might be in this sort of situation would be in police cars, and they always keep the engines running anyway.
“What I find highly disturbing about what happened, is that GM changed the part without changing the part number. In the manufacturing environments Ive worked in, that behavior would get you fired very quickly, up to the managers who permitted/ignored it.”
Exactly! There are engineering problems and quality problems with any product, and cars are a fairly complex item to manufacture. The issue is the morality of the people involved. My bet is that this is another case of “what is the cost tradeoff between fixing the problem and paying off those who get harmed.” I like GM cars, but I hope that the people involved go to jail here, and that includes the people in the government who also evidently knew about the problem and looked the other way.
I just heard today that hiding behind the fact that this problem occurred with “The Old GM”, and that “the New GM” has no liability may go out the window if it is proven that this problem was not brought up in the bankruptcy as a potential liability.
...and they DIDN’T have a whole lot of keys dangling on a keychain when the switch was on the dashboard? Color me skeptical of that as a root cause.
Where’s the lamestream press on this? They drove the Pinto investigations. Is it possible they won’t investigate Obama Motors? Nah, can’t be it.
All these bastards are built of the same bolt of cloth.
Ford did the same thing a few years ago with the cruise control disconnect switches on the master cylinder shorting out and causing fires.
I had an immaculate 95 f150 burn down in the street at 7 am on a sunday morning. Ford did not give a crap unless somebody was hurt or killed and said file it on our insurance, otherwise, see ya in court. We only carried liability on the truck so we got to eat the whole enchilada.
Their fix was a new wire about 12 inches long with a fuse inline. Their cost? Maybe 5 bucks.
These people will all push, push, and more push until they are forced byt the gov or law to do other wise. It is all about the benjamins, nothing else.
Because no one has ever had oversized keychains before now?
My keychain when I was in grad school had to have weighed close to a pound. I had keys to every locked classroom, lab and stockroom in my building. Along with keys to my parents car, their home, my apartment and my own car. And a storage unit.
Drove the heck out of the that 1979 car for 15 years and never had a problem.
where was the ignition switch, in the steering column or on the dashboard?
The switches having trouble, all makes, are the ones in the steering column.
It’s not a car problem, it’s a dumb shit driver problem!
Steering column. 1979 model. Bought it used in ‘89 and drove it till ‘05. Never had a problem with it or the humonguous keychain I carried due to work responsibilities. Never gave it a second thought.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever had a really heavy keychain in the past. This can hardly be a new ‘problem’. Why are the switches all of a sudden intolerant of big keychains? Keys are even lighter now than they were in the 1980’s.
Several of my coworkers had even bigger keychains. Nobody wanted the master key to the department as that carried responsibilities we really didn’t want at that point (any time anything came up missing in the department office (money, copier paper, anything) you’d be on the list of suspects if you had a master key. So we didn’t have master keys.
before everyone had power steering and brakes it wasn't a problem.
It wouldn't be a problem today if people had the sense to reach down and re start the engine.
Panic kills and I have no sympathy for people that panic and get killed!
Yep - Obama has the government take 61% ownership of General Motors in 2009.
It’s not the 57 cent part of the five cents of wire- it’s the trip to the dealer and the labor and any other associated costs. Dealers LOVE recalls (at least at first) because AFAIK, the dealers are reimbursed their normal shop time (minimum of an hour) for it. You are not leaving a dealership for under $100 in most cities even if you are just getting your tires filled. This is easy, volume money, and gets people they may otherwise never see the inside of a dealer service department to go for OTHER repairs (even more $$$$).
On another subject, I go to pick-and-pulls often to look for parts for my somewhat classic older car.
What is the newest car you will see in one of these junkyards? Cobalts. This, I believe, says it all.
GM is GOVERNMENT MOTORS!!! Where was the GOVERNMENT??? And the the UNION THUGS....WHERE WERE THEY???
Of course GM knew. A calculation was made to see if reporting the problem would affect the manager’s perception to their bosses or their personal bonus.
Yep, and they are more than likly gone from GM by now.
The woman’s been CEO for less than four months, yet she’s being treated like ‘rat feces for decisions made years before her time ?
She must be a Republican.