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Federal Prosecutors Open Criminal Investigation of GM Recall

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is ready to launch an investigation into the slow recall by GM which has potentially led to 13 deaths.  GM basically owes an explanation as to why it took almost 10 years to recall 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignitions.

Additionally, the Justice Department is investigating whether GM broke any laws with its slow response to a problem with ignition switches in compact cars from model years 2003 to 2007, according to a person briefed on the matter. The probe is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the investigation has not been made public.

If the investigation uncovers any evidence that the company deliberately postponed or hold the recall, this may end up being the largest scandal in recent U.S. auto history.

The committee's chairman, Michigan Republican Fred Upton, was the lead sponsor of the last comprehensive piece of auto safety legislation enacted by Congress, the Tread Act of 2000.

That legislation was a response to a deadly series of accidents involving Ford Motor Co. Explorer sport-utility vehicles equipped with certain Firestone tires. The Tread Act set requirements for auto makers to more quickly report fatal accidents related to safety defects, and directed the U.S. Transportation Department to take steps to improve its ability to analyze data.

GM wants to avoid the kind of costly, damaging scandal that engulfed Toyota Motor Corp. in 2010 after the Japanese auto maker recalled millions of vehicles for problems related to unintended acceleration.

Fred Upton of Western Michigan, the chairman of the House committee, said in a statement Monday that a hearing will be held in the coming weeks.

Congress passed legislation in 2000 requiring automakers to report safety problems quickly to NHTSA. The laws came after an investigation into a series of Ford-Firestone tire problems.

Federal Prosecutors Open Criminal Investigation of GM Recall Reviewed by Brandon on 9:36 PM Rating: 5

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