Yesterday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced they would open a formal investigation into the timeliness of GM's ignition switch recall. The recall affects over 1.6 million vehicles which are,
2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt
- 2006-07 Chevrolet HHR
2005-07 Pontiac G5
2006-07 Pontiac Solstice
- 2003-07 Saturn Ion
2006-07 Saturn Sky
In a statement, NHTSA says “opened an investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls.”
This investigation could cost GM dearly. The Detroit News reports NHTSA could issue a maximum fine of $35 million if it failed to recall the vehicles because of a safety defect within five days. Documents filed by GM to federal regulators this week say they knew about the problem back in 2004 as the 2005 Cobalt was hitting dealerships.
"We deeply regret the events that led to the recall and this investigation. We intend to fully cooperate with NHTSA, and we welcome the opportunity to help the agency have a full understanding of the facts. Today’s GM is committed to learning from the past while embracing the highest standards now and in the future," said GM in a statement.
The Detroit News also reports that GM has hired an law firm to conduct a full review. The review will look at the decisions made by GM concerning their handling of this problem.