A House Subcommittee Joins the GM-NHTSA Recall Fray

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpowers65/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpowers65/

General Motors (NYSE:GM) is investigating its vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating GM, and now an Energy and Commerce House subcommittee will be investigating both the automaker and the NHTSA, according to a report by the New York Times. It all has to do with the same recall that has the automotive world all abuzz of late; GM’s sizable 1.6 million vehicle effort related to the ignition cylinders that can cause the cars to shut down unexpectedly.

While its unusual for Washington to get so involved in matters between the automaker and the regulatory agency, it’s believed that 13 people have died as a result of the defect, and GM has known about the issue for a decade. Further, there have been whispers that the NHTSA didn’t do enough to initiate the recall earlier, as was reported on Monday.

The House subcommittee will be holding hearings, likely to grill GM and the NHTSA. A date for the hearings has not yet been confirmed, a spokesperson told the Times. The recall was initiated in January, and was expanded in February to nearly double the 778,000 initial vehicles encompassed. In addition to the House and NHTSA investigations, GM is conducting its own internal review of the situation.

“We are fully cooperating with the NHTSA, and will do so with the committee too,” GM spokesperson Greg Martin told the Times. The subcommittee is being headed by Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan, who also oversaw the committee that probed the Ford Explorer and Firestone Tires debacle 14 years ago. 

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