The General Motors (GM) ignition switch recall scandal has deepened, in light of a report that the company placed a huge order for replacement switches two months before it revealed the problem to federal regulators.
The New York Times reported that GM placed a massive order for 500,000 switches from its supplier, Delphi Automotive, in mid-December 2013. According to Robert C. Hilliard–one of the attorneys representing plaintiffs in the growing case building against GM–the auto parts supplier has come forward with evidence of GM’s attempts to conceal the switch problem: a series of emails between Delphi and the embattled automaker discussing the huge switch request.
“Delphi is refusing to participate in the cover-up,” Hilliard said. “They are fully and honestly disclosing what we have a right under the rules to know.”
The emails started flying the day after GM allegedly called an internal meeting regarding the switch defect. However, that meeting did not end with a decision to issue a recall. It would be two months before the automaker would come forward about the problem.
Since February this year, GM has recalled 2.6 million vehicles. The company has also admitted that some of their employees have known about the deadly issue for 10 years.
In September, the Inquisitr reported that the deaths of 19 people had been connected with the faulty ignition switches. Now, the number of victims has risen to 32 in connection with the defect, but there is the potential for that number to increase even more. The defective switches are prone to turning off on their own unexpectedly, usually under the weight of a heavy key chain. The problem can also prevent air bags from deploying during an accident.
According to USA Today, excerpts from the emails between GM and Delphi have been made public. In particular, an email from someone representing GM claimed the huge part request was being made “to support an urgent field action for our customers.”
For its part, GM has issued a statement regarding the disclosure of the emails, in which they said the following.
“These emails are further confirmation that our system needed reform, and we have done so…We have reorganized our entire safety investigation and decision process and have more investigators, move issues more quickly and make decisions with better data.”
What do you think of this latest development in the case of the GM ignition switch recall? Do you think the automaker truly was trying to cover up the problem with the faulty switches?
[Image via New York Post]