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New report discusses NHTSA negligence in GM scandal

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Sep 22, 2014 3:03:38 AM

Over the past several months, the public and federal legislators have become increasingly incensed about the fact that General Motors failed to correct a potentially deadly defect in millions of its models over the course of a decade. Even though some of the company’s employees were aware of the fact that faulty ignition switches had been installed in many of GM’s models, they did not alert the public, nor did they alert federal regulators. Perhaps most disturbingly, they allowed the defective switches to be installed in new models for years after the defect had been discovered.

The public was only notified about this defect after numerous deadly and injurious car accidents had been caused as a result of GM’s inaction. However, a new federal report suggests that some of the blame for the ongoing danger rests not with GM but with the federal agency tasked with ensuring the safety of America’s roadways.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently released a report in which it insists that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should have been aware of the defect as early as 2007. Although it is unclear what exactly led the NHTSA to overlook or understand this critical information, what has become clear is that the NHTSA seems to have fallen asleep on the job.

Hopefully the NHTSA will take the report’s findings as a serious and urgent wake-up call. It is up to manufacturers to ensure that their products are safe. However, it is up to the NHTSA and other federal agencies to investigate infractions of that responsibility and to hold violators accountable before otherwise preventable accidents harm innocent Americans.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “NHTSA Failed to Spot GM Ignition Switch Issue As Early As 2007,” Jeff Bennett and Siobhan Hughes, Sep. 16, 2014

Topics: car accidents

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