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    NHTSA Admits They Missed Clues During GM Ignition Switch Defect


    • New Reports Show NHTSA Has Some Blame In the Ignition Switch Mess

    While General Motors has gotten most of the blame in the ignition switch fiasco, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) isn't getting away scot free. The New York Times reports that the Department of Transportation released two internal documents revealing a series of failings by NHTSA.

     

    One of those failings was the administration not paying sufficient attention to a Wisconsin state trooper’s report in 2007 which suggested that the ignition switch played a key role in a fatal accident. The reports go on to say that NHTSA didn't use their full power to hold GM accountable in terms of this problem.

     

    “There needs to be a complete overhaul of this failing agency. The results of this report are long overdue,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

     

    NHTSA has begun to make a number of changes in light of these reports. They include,

    • Put manufacturers “on notice” about potential defects as soon they identified any troubling cases.
    • Institute a 'Risk Control' program that better aligns different sections of NHTSA and encourage more sharing
    • Be monitored by a group of outside experts including former officials of the National Transportation Safety Board and NASA


    “The G.M. experience changed the culture here. What that means is challenge the information you’re getting, and challenge the assumptions you are pursuing,” said NHTSA administrator Mark R. Rosekind.

     

    Still some people believe NHTSA needs to go farther.

     

    “It still soft-pedals why they have gone from one defect crisis to another,” said Sean E. Kane of the consulting firm Safety Research and Strategies. “What is missing is any mention of the importance of transparency.”

     

    Source: The New York Times

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    We could just do with killing many federal agencies and stop the wasting of tax payer dollars. Next waste will be a new agency to regulate the agencies that are supposed to regulate the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans.

     

    So sad and pathetic.

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    It was a perfect storm of circumstances. GM was a mess internally, evidenced by the steady decline throughout the 2000s going into the bankruptcy, then you had the failure of the NHTSA to put together 1 + 1 = ?? when so many accidents involving failed airbag deployments had been occurring. And lastly, we as consumers and drivers forgot the importance of keeping our keychains light and teaching young drivers how to handle a stall.

     

    When you have a mega corporation in termoil, a safety organization that can't deduce whose ass a fart came from, and a dumbing down of consumers, it's a recipe for disaster.

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    I stay away from the whole issue of driver liability just because in the land of lawsuits I've pretty much given up on the average American associating liberty with personal responsibility. And I'm from Canuckistan.

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    If GM is found liable, shouldn't the Government be held so as well. N.H.T.S.A, after two Cobalt crashes, investigated the cause, each time raising the possibility of a defect. They met with GM but never opened a broader investigation into whether the car was defective. Never forcing GM to actually do a Recall. The FEDERAL GOV'T was made aware of the situation and DID NOTHING. If the company gets sued, so should the Gov't. Again since GM was found liable, the Government should be held so as well. N.H.T.S.A, after two Cobalt crashes, investigated the cause, each time raising the possibility of a defect. They met with GM but never opened a broader investigation into it. This is the purpose of the NHTSA. Not only that... the car czars were supposedly going over GM, with a fine tooth comb, hence responsibility would and should still remain with the Government that owned a controlling stake in the company for 5 years

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    I stay away from the whole issue of driver liability just because in the land of lawsuits I've pretty much given up on the average American associating liberty with personal responsibility. And I'm from Canuckistan.

    It's sad, but true..

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    If GM is found liable, shouldn't the Government be held so as well. N.H.T.S.A, after two Cobalt crashes, investigated the cause, each time raising the possibility of a defect. They met with GM but never opened a broader investigation into whether the car was defective. Never forcing GM to actually do a Recall. The FEDERAL GOV'T was made aware of the situation and DID NOTHING. If the company gets sued, so should the Gov't. Again since GM was found liable, the Government should be held so as well. N.H.T.S.A, after two Cobalt crashes, investigated the cause, each time raising the possibility of a defect. They met with GM but never opened a broader investigation into it. This is the purpose of the NHTSA. Not only that... the car czars were supposedly going over GM, with a fine tooth comb, hence responsibility would and should still remain with the Government that owned a controlling stake in the company for 5 years

    How do we sue..ourselves..? pay higher taxes? lol

     

    All kidding aside,  because it is a gov't program I would think you could only hold the individuals responsible right(because I'm not sure how the gov't goes after the gov't.. I'm sure there are legal ways I just do not know the sequence of events) ? but at that point the company is supposed to have their backs unless it is proved to be intentional neglegence.

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    I actually had the ignition switch thing happen to me in my 06 Cobalt.

     

    The GPS lost its suction and fell off the window, hitting the key on the way down and shutting off the car.  At highway speeds.

     

    Fortunately I figured out that I could restart the car if I shifted into neutral before anything bad happened.

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    I actually had the ignition switch thing happen to me in my 06 Cobalt.

     

    The GPS lost its suction and fell off the window, hitting the key on the way down and shutting off the car.  At highway speeds.

     

    Fortunately I figured out that I could restart the car if I shifted into neutral before anything bad happened.

     

     

    Still... cause and effect.. the GPS, or rather the insanity of us still using "suction cups" in 2015, IMO, would be more at fault than anything else if U had of crashed. 

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    As far as I'm concerned, GM is on trial because the weak ignition switch caused a situation in which the airbags fail to deploy to prevent injury. It bothers me endlessly to hear people (and the media) quoting the story like the Cobalt's were killing people simply by turning off. If you're going fast enough to have a devastating crash, the steering will barely feel different without power assist, and the brakes retain power boost for at least one full press.

     

    Yes, it's a significant problem. You slide off the road (whether it's ice or avoiding an accident or anything) into a tree, or hit an obstacle that causes you to lose control, and the jarring event shuts off the car and therefore the airbags, not a defect to be taken lightly. However, how much different would the narrative be if it was reported as "Ignition switch fails to deploy airbags in 110 fatal accidents" versus "Ignition switch causes 110 fatalities." IMO the second line doesn't even make any damn sense, it's like click bait. An ignition switch can't cause death.

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    The other issue was that apparently airbags have always had a percentage that do not deploy in an accident and the percentage of non-deployments in these cars was not outside of the statistical norm, thus no statistical anomaly to detect.

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