GM was slow to turn over info on faulty ignitions, says vehicle safety chief

WASHINGTON DC (WXYZ) - The news is getting worse for General Motors.

A day after the U.S. Attorney in New York and Congress announced they were investigating the company’s slow response to fixing faulty ignition switches, the nation’s top auto safety official said GM failed to turn over information in a timely manner.

In Washington today, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told reporters: “…when GM recalled these vehicles we got new information that made a direct connection between the defect in their ignition switches and airbags not going off...if GM had provided us with timely information, we would have been able to take a different course with this.”

Last month, GM recalled more than $1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches that caused some of its cars to shut off their engines, disabling their airbags and power steering. 31 crashes and 13 deaths have been linked to the bad ignition switches.  Court records revealed this week show GM knew about he problems for as long as 10 years.

The auto giant has until April 3 to respond to 107 questions prepared by NHTSA, who will then determine once and for all if the company failed to act in a timely manner.

If you have one of the vehicles under recall, GM is offering free loaner cars while you wait for the fix and $500 towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle.

Contact Investigator Ross Jones at rjones@wxyz.com or at (248) 827-9466.

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