Skip to comments.Minding the Minders of G.M.
Posted on 04/05/2014 11:15:15 AM PDT by jazusamo
There is a truism in Washington that was confirmed last week in Congress: Even less popular than government regulation is a regulator suspected of not doing its job.
Not for the first time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or N.H.T.S.A. (pronounced NITZ-ah) was forced to answer for failing to protect consumers. In this case, the failure involved a defective General Motors ignition switch implicated in 13 deaths. While G.M.s new chief executive, Mary T. Barra, took most of the heat in two days of House and Senate hearings last week, she shared the grill with the safety agencys acting administrator, David J. Friedman.
Critics, and not just in Congress, have noted that it was not the N.H.T.S.A. that exposed G.M.s safety lapse and forced the automakers recent recalls of nearly 2.6 million vehicles. The defect was discovered by a lawyer and engineer involved in a lawsuit filed against G.M. by the parents of a Georgia woman killed in 2010. Subsequent press reports spurred the recall. Further stoking concerns, the agency twice considered and decided against opening a formal investigation of the suspected defect.
Given that backdrop, Mr. Friedmans testimony that his agency would have acted differently had G.M. not withheld information about the flawed part won little sympathy from Congress.
He basically told us that if only General Motors told them there was a problem, then N.H.T.S.A. could have told G.M. there was a problem, said Representative Tim Murphy, Republican of Pennsylvania who presided over the House hearing, in an interview. Its almost dismissive of their role and Im not satisfied with that.
So what we want to know, Mr. Murphy continued, is what is all the information that N.H.T.S.A. had, and how did they handle it each step of the way?
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
considering the importance of the company to the Obama agenda this is a rather surprising source for an article of this nature. Heck. Just the fact it questions big government at all.
Agreed and this hasn’t been the first piece. There are several writers at the NYT that have been covering this from the start and they haven’t been kind to GM or NHTSA.
At some point, we the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, have to throw ALL these summbitches out and start over.
The ignition switch failure is a major malfunction of supplier and OEM quality assurance. So what does GM do? Create a new “Vice President of Global Safety” or some such thing. WTF?
Of course I don’t know and it’s possible no one will ever know for sure but I suspect that about the time this thing started (2002-2003) is when GM knew they were in real financial trouble. Though it will be denied they were very worried about the bottom line and chose to ignore some problems they may not have ignored previously.
It looks to me like they gambled this wouldn’t turn out to be the mess it evolved into and now it has. There’s evidence of a potential problem they knew about and also evidence of them trying to sweep it under the rug.
Now the NHTSA is saying GM didn’t tell them about all this but of course there’s no way GM would if the above scenario is basically what happened and the NHTSA knew there were deaths. Looks like a lot of buck is being passed.
NTSB was under the Obama admin at the critical points in question. Note that they were beating the hell out of Toyota during this time. I would bet money that the WH was leaning on the NTSB to leave GM alone. They had to protect their investment.
I don’t doubt that at all. Obama couldn’t say enough about how good the bailout was for the country and jobs, all BS of course, it cost taxpayers billions and saved UAW pensions.
They can add it to their Top Ten “Lessons Learned” and if the families who lost loved ones don’t receive “justice” and feel that life is unfair to them then there may be another kind of lesson learned. It’s unfortunate but the world doesn’t stop turning and the lesson is not always as well-learned as it could’ve been.