General Motors (GM) notified customers and federal regulators of a faulty ignition switch in early February. The recall has been linked to 13 deaths and includes 2.6 million vehicles: 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada), 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and 2007 Saturn Sky. The defective switch can suddenly shut off, causing cars to lose power and deactivate air bags.
The Detroit automaker was aware of the defect for a decade and a report released Sunday by a House subcommittee has determined that the government agency in charge of auto safety was briefed about the faulty switch in 2007. Moreover, Delphi, maker of the faulty switch, warned GM executives that the ignition switch did not meet specifications.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association addressed the House report in a statement:
"As we have stated previously, the agency reviewed data from a number of source in 2007, but the data we had available at the time did not warrant a formal investigation."
GM CEO Mary Barra will address lawmakers' questions about the recall this week when she and David Friedman, acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, testify before Congress. Barra has apologized to GM customers in recorded videos, saying that GM intends "to make this recall as smooth as possible" and "that we not let this happen again. We will learn from this and be a better company."
GM is "owning the problem," says Yahoo Finance's Jeff Macke in the video above. Barra "is doing precisely what she said she would do and what she needed to do."
Has the GM brand been irreparably damaged and can Barra's apologies be enough to win back customers? Watch the video to see what Macke and Aaron Task think!
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