GM Did Not Report Majority of Safety Issues, House Democrats Say

Image: Mary Barra of General Motors Co.
Mary Barra of General Motors speaks at the North American International Auto Show in January.REBECCA COOK / Reuters file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
/ Source: Reuters

General Motors has not yet reported to federal regulators the "vast majority" of 133 cases of safety concerns about ignition switches, House of Representatives Democrats said on Tuesday.

The cases, some dating from June 2003, stem from warranty claims and comments from consumers and GM technicians, according to Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"Yet at the same time GM was receiving these consumer complaints, the company continued to deny any defect," House Democrats said in a memo, adding, that "to this date, GM has not reported the vast majority of these incidents" to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Hours before new General Motors boss faces Congress, House Democrats say GM failed to report majority of safety issues to regulators. GM has recalled millions of cars over an ignition problem linked to several fatal crashes.JEFF KOWALSKY / EPA

The memo was released prior to General Motors' new CEO and the head of the nation's auto safety watchdog heading to Congress to testify later on Tuesday about a defect in small cars that is linked to 13 deaths.

In written testimony released ahead of a House subcommittee hearing, acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief David Friedman says GM had information connecting defective ignition switches to the non-deployment of air bags, but didn't share it until last month.

GM's CEO Mary Barra will also testify. Committee members will press Barra and Friedman to explain why neither the company nor the safety agency moved to recall millions of small cars with a defective ignition switch, even though GM knew of the problem as early as 2001.- Reuters