• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    General Motors Gets A $28,000 Fine From NHTSA For Answering Questions Too Slowly


    • NHTSA begins fining GM over not/slowly answering questions concerning the ignition switch recall

    Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent General Motors a 27 page document with 107 questions that dealt with the massive ignition switch recall that affects 2.8 million vehicles worldwide and is linked to 13 deaths. NHTSA gave the company a deadline of April 3rd to finish answering all of the questions. Well its a week after the deadline, NHTSA has announced it will fine GM $7,000 per day starting on April 3rd because the company hasn't answered all of the questions and being slow to respond. At this current time, the total fine stands at $28,000.

    In a letter released last night, NHTSA said General Motors hasn't answered a third of its questions, including several that required no special technical expertise such as what data it looked at when deciding not to issue a recall before this year.

    "These are basic questions concerning information that is surely readily available to GM at this time. It is deeply troubling that two months after recalling the vehicles, GM is unwilling or unable to tell NHTSA whether the design of the switch changed at any other time," said the agency.

    NHTSA also warned that it could ask the Department of Justice to force GM's hand.

    Now NHTSA does state that General Motors sent the agency a note on March 20th saying that it would need more time to answer the questions. Then on on April 4, GM told the agency that it wouldn't be able to answer all the questions since it has an ongoing outside investigation by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas. He is looking into GM's handling of the recall that goes back to 2001. As you might have guess, NHTSA isn't exactly pleased about this.

    “You explained that GM did not fully respond because an investigation by Anton Valukas and his team was in progress. This was the first time GM had ever raised Mr. Valukas’ work as a reason GM could not fully provide information to NHTSA in this timeliness investigation. Mr. Valukas’ investigation is irrelevant to GM’s legal obligation to timely respond to the special order and cooperate fully with NHTSA,” said NHTSA general counsel O. Kevin Vincent.

    General Motors spokesman Greg Martin tells The Detroit News the company has been fully cooperative by handing over 271,000 pages of information.

    “GM has produced nearly 21,000 documents totaling over 271,000 pages through a production process that spans a decade and over 5 million documents from 75 individual custodians and additional sources. Even NHTSA recognizes the breadth of its inquiry and has agreed, in several instances with GM, to a rolling production schedule of documents past the April 3rd deadline. We believe that NHTSA shares our desire to provide accurate and substantive responses. We will continue to provide responses and facts as soon as they become available and hope to go about this in a constructive manner. We will do so with a goal of being accurate as well as timely,” said Martin.

    Martin didn't say if the company would contest the fine or not.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, Motoramic

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    How about a reverse fine against NHTSA for being ignorant in doing their job from the begining back when this problem began.

    Talk about a bunch of Morons covering their Arses in trying to make sure they still have a chair at the table of I kiss yours if you kiss mine stupid politics.

    -1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    All this nonsense stems from the fact that we do not have a legal system based strictly upon contractual obligations and specific legal compliance. There shouldn't be ANY legal obligation between a manufacturer and the consumer beyond what is specifically advertized about the product and/or stipulated in it's functional specifications. There should also not be ANY legal obligation to the government beyond compliance with specific certification requirements.

    In other words... If a car catches fire and it is not marketed as a car that will not catch fire, the consumer has no legal resort and the manufacturer has no legal obligations. You are not entitled to ANY compensatory or punitive damages. Also, the NHTSA can demand that manufacturers certify vehicles to their precisely stated standards using their precisely stated tests. Once they certify a vehicle they have no legal power to then punish the manufacturer for any safety or environmental issues no matter how serious.

    Frivolous lawsuits and/or overbearing government intrusions into private enterprises benefits no one but bureaucrats and lawyers. If you think that the absence of such will result in horrible and unsafe products, you are grossly underestimating the ability and discretion of consumers to choose products based on reputations and past performances. Just because no nobody can sue for millions of dollars if their relative die in car fire doesn't mean manufacturers will want to build cars that catch fire, because many consumers won't want to buy a car from a manufacturer known for making such cars!

    3

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    How about a reverse fine against NHTSA for being ignorant in doing their job from the begining back when this problem began.

    Talk about a bunch of Morons covering their Arses in trying to make sure they still have a chair at the table of I kiss yours if you kiss mine stupid politics.

    Which morons? You mean the ones who knew about the problem 10 years ago but decided that a $0.57 fix was cost prohibitive? I'm sure recalling millions of vehicles, fines,and bad press make it TOTALLY WORTH IT.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    How about a reverse fine against NHTSA for being ignorant in doing their job from the begining back when this problem began.

    Talk about a bunch of Morons covering their Arses in trying to make sure they still have a chair at the table of I kiss yours if you kiss mine stupid politics.

    Which morons? You mean the ones who knew about the problem 10 years ago but decided that a $0.57 fix was cost prohibitive? I'm sure recalling millions of vehicles, fines,and bad press make it TOTALLY WORTH IT.

    They can start by pulling in the executives from that time and grilling them, confiscating their ill gotten gains and holding them accountable for making the right decision than to roast a woman who clearly cares more about quality and the customer than the idiots that made these decisions did back then.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    For starters, we have to stop banding about this $0.57 cost... That is only the cost for a new part going forward. That does not take into consideration the cost of retrofitting the cars already built or the huge potential stockpile of unused parts. I still question if this is such a big deal of a recall. Again, cars are inherently dangerous... and the act of driving one means that you have decided to accept that risk.

    Should GM recall all the Dexcool screwed intakes? Flooding the crankcase with antifreeze also likely can cause a car to stall if extreme enough. Should GM recall all the break pads? They wear for God's sake! Then you can't stop! Oh, think of the children!

    In any case, this law of unintended consequences here is that in the future GM will not study any potential issues. This recall would not have blown up in their face IF THEY HADN'T DONE THE BEAN COUNTER MATH! If questioning the quality of the parts becomes persona non grata at GM, there is going to be a lot of problem parts in the future. At some point, this bean counter math has to be accepted as part of the price of running a business with the intention of profit.

    2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest potluck

    Posted

    When initially discovered, it was not considered a safety issue at all, merely a customer annoyance.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    All this nonsense stems from the fact that we do not have a legal system based strictly upon contractual obligations and specific legal compliance. There shouldn't be ANY legal obligation between a manufacturer and the consumer beyond what is specifically advertized about the product and/or stipulated in it's functional specifications. There should also not be ANY legal obligation to the government beyond compliance with specific certification requirements.

    In other words... If a car catches fire and it is not marketed as a car that will not catch fire, the consumer has no legal resort and the manufacturer has no legal obligations. You are not entitled to ANY compensatory or punitive damages. Also, the NHTSA can demand that manufacturers certify vehicles to their precisely stated standards using their precisely stated tests. Once they certify a vehicle they have no legal power to then punish the manufacturer for any safety or environmental issues no matter how serious.

    Frivolous lawsuits and/or overbearing government intrusions into private enterprises benefits no one but bureaucrats and lawyers. If you think that the absence of such will result in horrible and unsafe products, you are grossly underestimating the ability and discretion of consumers to choose products based on reputations and past performances. Just because no nobody can sue for millions of dollars if their relative die in car fire doesn't mean manufacturers will want to build cars that catch fire, because many consumers won't want to buy a car from a manufacturer known for making such cars!

    Your post Rocks! :metal:

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This whole recall thing is pretty embarrassing. I would think they would want to answer everything, solve it and move on as quickly as possible.

    I actually think it is worth grilling Mary Barra also, she still had high positions while all this happened, even if she wasn't at the very top. And who's to say she isn't like the previous CEO's that were looking to cash in on short term performance and leave. I think that is a big problem with GM over the past 20 years, they give these CEO's and upper management bonuses based on short term goals, so they do what makes money in the short term and don't care what happens 3-5 years later. Barra is the 6th CEO in the past 8 years, it isn't like these people care what happens 5 years later.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. deftonesfan867
      deftonesfan867
      (37 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Last week saw the PSA Group (parent company of Citroen and Peugeot) purchasing Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for $2.3 billion. This move would make the PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe. We already know some of the plans that PSA Group has for their new brands such as setting operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 (jumps to 6 percent by 2026) and the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa being the first new product developed with PSA. But as we alluded to in the original news story, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered such as possible job cuts or what happens to Buick and Holden as they share products with Opel. I have been doing a bit of thinking on these and some other questions. The end result is this piece.
      1: Will there be job cuts and plant closures?
      In 2016, PSA Group employed 172,000 people worldwide. With the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, they will be adding close to 42,000 workers (the majority of those from Opel). The number of plants will also increase to 28 due to this purchase. Sooner or later, PSA Group is going have to make cuts. During the press conference announcing the deal, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said the company “would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.” That may be true for now, but this might change within the coming years. Some analysts believe PSA Group will close two to three plants within five years.
      The most likely place where the closures and layoffs could take place is in Great Britain. The reason as we talked about in a story back in February deals with the decision made by British citizens last year with leaving the European Union.
      “By leaving, the country would lose access to the EU Single Market which guarantees unconstrained trade across the member states. It would mean various countries would be leveraging tariffs on British-made goods, making production in the country less competitive.”
      Former British member of parliament and business secretary Sir Vincent Cable outlined how bad this decision looks for Vauxhall in a recent interview on BBC Radio 4.
      There could be a way that the British Government could at least stall the possible closures. Back in October, the British Government worked out a secret deal with Nissan to keep them investing in British car production at their plant in Sunderland. This deal caused an uproar as the details were kept as many believed the British Government would be handing over money to keep Nissan happy. But sources told British newspaper The Independent back in January that the deal had no mention of money.
      It could be that the British Government could do something similar for PSA Group to keep jobs, but it is too early to say if this will happen or not.
      2: Will this affect PSA’s plans of entering the U.S.?
      Probably not. Let’s remember that PSA Group is working through a ten-year plan that may or may not see the return of the Citroen and Peugeot, along with the introduction of DS to the country. Already, the first part of this plan is gearing up for the launch of a car sharing service next month. There is also extensive research going on into the U.S. marketplace. 
      But could there be a possibility of Opel or Vauxhall vehicles being sold here? It would not be surprising if there isn’t talk about this at PSA Group’s HQ. But there is a slight complication to this idea. As part of the sale, PSA Group cannot sell any Opel vehicles developed by GM anywhere in various markets outside of Europe (China and U.S. for example) until they transition to PSA platforms. That means a number of models such as the Astra, Insignia, and Mokka are out of the question for the time being. If Opel was chosen to be one of the brands PSA would sell in the U.S., they might not have a full line of vehicles to sell due to this clause.
      3: What does the future hold for Buick and Holden?
      If there are some losers from the sale of Opel, it has to Buick and Holden. Buick has found some success with Opel products as the Encore (rebadged Mokka) has become one the best-selling models for the brand. Holden is getting a shot in the arm as the Astra will hopefully help their fortunes in the compact space, and the new Commodore (rebadged Insignia) has a tough task ahead of it with living up to an iconic name. For the time being, Opel will continue supplying models to both brands. It is what happens in the future that many are concerned about.
      During the Geneva Motor Show, GM President Dan Ammann said something very interest to Australian journalists about the future of Holden’s products.
      This makes sense as the Astra was only launched and the Commodore is getting ready to go on sale. But I wouldn’t be surprised if talks begin very soon about this very topic. The same talks are likely to begin at Buick soon where they face the same issue for the Regal and Encore. Our hunch is Buick might have the easier time of two. The Encore would continue on since it shares the same platform as the Chevrolet Trax. As for the Regal, it could leave Buick’s lineup once the next-generation model runs its course.
      4: Does GM lose anything with this deal?
      There has been a lot of talk about how much money will be freed up from the sale of Opel/Vauxhall for GM, along with making a bit more profit. But it comes at a cost that could hurt GM down the road. The recent crop of compact and midsize sedans from GM owe a lot to Opel’s engineering knowledge. Vehicles that excel in driving dynamics and fuel economy are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the European marketplace. As we know, one part of why GM went into bankruptcy was the lack of competitive small and midsize cars that got good fuel economy. Opel would prove to be GM’s savior with this key knowledge.
      Right now, compacts and midsize sedans aren’t selling as consumers are directing their attention to crossovers and SUVs. This is due in part to lower gas prices. But sooner or later, the price of gas will go back up and cause many to go back to smaller vehicles. With talk about GM scaling back on their small and midsize car lineup, this decision could have consequences down the road. Plus with Opel out of the picture, GM doesn’t have someone it can rely on to get these models back to the forefront. We can hope GM’s North American office has learned some stuff when working with their European counterparts.
    • By William Maley
      Last week saw the PSA Group (parent company of Citroen and Peugeot) purchasing Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for $2.3 billion. This move would make the PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe. We already know some of the plans that PSA Group has for their new brands such as setting operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 (jumps to 6 percent by 2026) and the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa being the first new product developed with PSA. But as we alluded to in the original news story, there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered such as possible job cuts or what happens to Buick and Holden as they share products with Opel. I have been doing a bit of thinking on these and some other questions. The end result is this piece.
      1: Will there be job cuts and plant closures?
      In 2016, PSA Group employed 172,000 people worldwide. With the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, they will be adding close to 42,000 workers (the majority of those from Opel). The number of plants will also increase to 28 due to this purchase. Sooner or later, PSA Group is going have to make cuts. During the press conference announcing the deal, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said the company “would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.” That may be true for now, but this might change within the coming years. Some analysts believe PSA Group will close two to three plants within five years.
      The most likely place where the closures and layoffs could take place is in Great Britain. The reason as we talked about in a story back in February deals with the decision made by British citizens last year with leaving the European Union.
      “By leaving, the country would lose access to the EU Single Market which guarantees unconstrained trade across the member states. It would mean various countries would be leveraging tariffs on British-made goods, making production in the country less competitive.”
      Former British member of parliament and business secretary Sir Vincent Cable outlined how bad this decision looks for Vauxhall in a recent interview on BBC Radio 4.
      There could be a way that the British Government could at least stall the possible closures. Back in October, the British Government worked out a secret deal with Nissan to keep them investing in British car production at their plant in Sunderland. This deal caused an uproar as the details were kept as many believed the British Government would be handing over money to keep Nissan happy. But sources told British newspaper The Independent back in January that the deal had no mention of money.
      It could be that the British Government could do something similar for PSA Group to keep jobs, but it is too early to say if this will happen or not.
      2: Will this affect PSA’s plans of entering the U.S.?
      Probably not. Let’s remember that PSA Group is working through a ten-year plan that may or may not see the return of the Citroen and Peugeot, along with the introduction of DS to the country. Already, the first part of this plan is gearing up for the launch of a car sharing service next month. There is also extensive research going on into the U.S. marketplace. 
      But could there be a possibility of Opel or Vauxhall vehicles being sold here? It would not be surprising if there isn’t talk about this at PSA Group’s HQ. But there is a slight complication to this idea. As part of the sale, PSA Group cannot sell any Opel vehicles developed by GM anywhere in various markets outside of Europe (China and U.S. for example) until they transition to PSA platforms. That means a number of models such as the Astra, Insignia, and Mokka are out of the question for the time being. If Opel was chosen to be one of the brands PSA would sell in the U.S., they might not have a full line of vehicles to sell due to this clause.
      3: What does the future hold for Buick and Holden?
      If there are some losers from the sale of Opel, it has to Buick and Holden. Buick has found some success with Opel products as the Encore (rebadged Mokka) has become one the best-selling models for the brand. Holden is getting a shot in the arm as the Astra will hopefully help their fortunes in the compact space, and the new Commodore (rebadged Insignia) has a tough task ahead of it with living up to an iconic name. For the time being, Opel will continue supplying models to both brands. It is what happens in the future that many are concerned about.
      During the Geneva Motor Show, GM President Dan Ammann said something very interest to Australian journalists about the future of Holden’s products.
      This makes sense as the Astra was only launched and the Commodore is getting ready to go on sale. But I wouldn’t be surprised if talks begin very soon about this very topic. The same talks are likely to begin at Buick soon where they face the same issue for the Regal and Encore. Our hunch is Buick might have the easier time of two. The Encore would continue on since it shares the same platform as the Chevrolet Trax. As for the Regal, it could leave Buick’s lineup once the next-generation model runs its course.
      4: Does GM lose anything with this deal?
      There has been a lot of talk about how much money will be freed up from the sale of Opel/Vauxhall for GM, along with making a bit more profit. But it comes at a cost that could hurt GM down the road. The recent crop of compact and midsize sedans from GM owe a lot to Opel’s engineering knowledge. Vehicles that excel in driving dynamics and fuel economy are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the European marketplace. As we know, one part of why GM went into bankruptcy was the lack of competitive small and midsize cars that got good fuel economy. Opel would prove to be GM’s savior with this key knowledge.
      Right now, compacts and midsize sedans aren’t selling as consumers are directing their attention to crossovers and SUVs. This is due in part to lower gas prices. But sooner or later, the price of gas will go back up and cause many to go back to smaller vehicles. With talk about GM scaling back on their small and midsize car lineup, this decision could have consequences down the road. Plus with Opel out of the picture, GM doesn’t have someone it can rely on to get these models back to the forefront. We can hope GM’s North American office has learned some stuff when working with their European counterparts.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      General Motors seems being in a cutting mood as it drives to improve its profit margins and stock price. Last week saw the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group and it's only the beginning said GM CEO Mary Barra.
      Automotive News reports that GM is considering reducing investments in North American cars and "select" international markets according to a chart that was shared during a conference call with analysts last week. The chart says these two earned a spot on the chopping block due to low profit potential and weak strength in franchises.
      "There's a little bit more work that we're doing in the international markets. Our overall philosophy is that every country, every market segment has to earn its cost of capital," Barra said on the conference call. 
      Barra and GM President Dan Ammann declined to go into details about these plans.
      GM has already made significant changes in terms of their international operations by ending or reducing operations Australia, Indonesia, Russia, and Thailand. The automaker has also scaled back plans in India. The comments made during the call suggest more cuts could take place here and possibly elsewhere.
      As for 'reducing investments in North American cars', this likely means GM is taking a hard look at various segments in passenger car segment. With consumers trending towards utility vehicles and trucks, sales of passenger cars have been falling precipitously. As of March 1st, dealers had four month's worth of inventory of cars, compared to an 81-day supply for light trucks and less than 60-days for full-size SUVs. GM could walk away from certain segments such as compacts or full-size sedans, or delay investments in certain models.
      These moves will allow GM to funnel money into models that make more money, and returning capital to shareholders.
      "That's an immediate opportunity for us to reward shareholders without changing the risk profile of the company or our ability to manage through a downturn," GM CFO Chuck Stevens said.
      Analysts are mixed on GM's plans.
      "It takes a lot of discipline to shift away from a volume-is-king kind of mentality," she said. "In the end, that's going to make a better GM -- a longer-standing company that's not only more profitable but more relevant," said Rebecca Lindland, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book to Automotive News.
      John Murphy, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch isn't so sure about this plan.
      "It appears that GM's recent decision-making has become much more short-term-focused and, in our opinion, could create challenges for the company in the coming years," Murphy wrote in a report.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)