U.S. House Committee Will Probe GM Ignition Recall Blunder – Saga Grows

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The ongoing saga of GM’s failure to report a recall in a timely manner has now gotten the attention of a U.S. House committee. The committee said late Monday, March 10, 2014 that it will hold an investigation and have hearings on the issue. It plans on calling both GM and NHTSA officials to testify.

U.S. House Committee Plans Probe of GM Recall Blunder - Saga Grows

Michigan Republican Fred Upton will help lead the investigation into GM’s recall blunder. He was a key member of the panel during the Ford Explorer and Firestone tires scandal.

A subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee will lead the investigation and hold the hearings as part of the government’s probe. The plan is to better determine who laws Congress has passed over the years to prevent recall blunders failed. “Did the company or regulators miss something that could have flagged these problems sooner? If the answer is yes, we must learn how and why this happened, and then determine whether this system of reporting and analyzing complaints that Congress created to save lives is being implemented and working as the law intended,” U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the committee, said in a statement Monday. The U.S. Senate may get involved as well with Jay Rockefeller, D- W. Va. calling for a subcommittee hearing. As part of the probe, the committee will look at how the Tread Act was not properly followed. The act requires automakers to report complaints of defects in a timely manner to the NHTSA. Also, it makes it easier to identify and track automotive safety defects. The Tread Act, sponsored by Upton, was passed in response to a 2000 subcommittee that investigated the rollovers of Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires. That problem was linked to 271 deaths and had years of complaints before it was addressed. It lead to multiple lawsuits, a massive recall from Firestone, was one of the leading reasons for the closing of the Firestone plant in Decatur, Illinois and lead Bridgestone/Firestone to announce an end to a 100-year partnership with Ford. “Here we are over a decade later, faced with accidents and tragedies, and significant questions need to be answered,” Upton said in a statement. “Did the company or regulators miss something that could have flagged these problems sooner? Americans deserve to have the peace of mind that they are safe behind the wheel.” Also, GM has announced they have hired Jenner and Block Chairman Anton Valukas to help lead an internal probe of the handling of the recall. Valukas served as U.S. Justice Department-appointed examiner of the downfall of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Valukas will work with GM’s general counsel Michael Millikin and attorneys from the law firm King & Spalding according to a statement. It was also revealed that the NHTSA could also seek criminal charges against GM. GM’s new CEO Mary Barra is reportedly working non-stop on this issue along with long-time GM executive Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. They see this recall as a key early test of the “new” GM and Barra’s leadership and legacy. Another developing story from this recall deals with the legal issues around GM’s bankruptcy. There has been some speculation that GM may not be “legally” responsible for the recall mishap post bankruptcy. For GM, this recall is certainly a big black eye. We will keep you informed as the saga continues. Related Post:

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  1. Randy says:


    This is one of those articles that would take a novel to respond to. If only the general population could connect the dots; even if it was just a half dozen dots. The government’s forced closing of Lehman Brothers because of the cracks in the foundation at the Federal Reserve is just one small example.

    Perhaps it is the failure of government to uphold the Constitution. “We the people” are irrelevant since all three branches are 100% controlled by the “K” street conduit. All of which are genuinely acts of treason again the citizens of the United States.

    Anyone that believes that the NHSTA and the EPA are here to “serve the people” is delusional. Does anyone believe that “K” street is able to police themselves? The entire concept and operation of “K” street is a criminal activity. This process will continue as long as Congress (our government) remains on the take.

    So we are left with Congress putting on a “show for the citizens” and this little bit of nonsense will be reported in “the media”….but nothing has changed. Nothing has been fixed. The Deep State continues.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I appreciate all your comments on this site. However, I’m not a big fan of the current direction of some of your comments. Can we try to stay on the topic of automotive items? I see the comment above as fitting more in the lines of politics than on the current news. The news is that about the investigation and probe, not about politics.

      Thank You!

      • Randy says:


        I understand and will focus on doing better next time. I just really do not expect much from the probe; except for the “show”.


        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          No worries! And yes, I would agree that I don’t expect much from the probe. However, the Tread Act did get passed the last time one of these major screw-ups occurred. So, there is that.


  2. Randy says:

    Side note:

    When General Motors became Government Motors the IPO had several specific legal attributes imbedded. One of the most damaging was: “No one can sue GM for fraud” (meaning U.S. citizens). Yes the word “fraud” is used. Look it up read it; learn. GM is immune from criminal activity.

  3. Larry says:


    I agree that there is way too much involvement by government in the process of auto/truck development. It’s at the point now where we can’t shut it down other then to refuse to buy what is being forced upon us.

    In no way should our government have been involved in any ownership of GM or any other company. The situation of people not being able to sue should wake people up but it won’t.

    My wife got a new car in 2011. There are many things about it I do not like. All of them were government requirements (like TPS and traction control).

    The idea that any person in congress, who doesn’t know a piston from a crank should be involved in hearings regarding a GM switch problem is pure grandstanding. Just watch the hearings, it will be the place for each member to stand up and gain points with the voters as he cuts up an evil corporation. They should have let the evil corporation die 5 years ago. Any involvement by any member of congress will be nothing more then fishing for votes in the next congressional election. This problem is no longer fixable. Just like we should have let GM die off we will need to wait for as long as it takes for our congress to die off.

    I don’t like anything about GM or their products from past history of poor quality which cost me plenty but, I do not believe GM management would put people at risk if they were aware that they could solve a problem.

    This seems nothing more than another GM screwup, another problem which could have possibly been prevented by letting a bad company die off. They can’t get a switch right and we are to believe their new complex, variable valve timing, cylinder shutdown engines will work and last? GM is a company to be avoided.

    While it’s extremely unfortunate,,,,, tragic for those involved, will people stop buying GM? With all our history why would they have done business with GM at all?

    I was outraged when congress got involved with ownership of GM. Government involvement in a company with competitors with no involvement. Why not have congress nationalize the entire auto industry? Ford should have really gone postal when this happened. The government putting money into your competitors is outrageous. How can I invest in good company or short one which I know is dead when the congress can come along and undermine all my research. I would never invest in the auto industry knowing the congress can interfere in who profits and who loses.

    Randy, I understand all your points and I too feel we are in deep trouble.

  4. Mickey says:

    Still haven’t really seen too much from congress. They said they will open an investigation, but we know that won’t really happen against GM. They let this go on way too long. You think Ray LaHood would call out GM? Funny he got out right in time.

  5. Mickey says:

    Here’s an article you will find interesting.

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