General Motors' recalls have hit critical mass in the media. Not only is the company being mocked by comedians like John Oliver, Jon Stewart and Saturday Night Live, but it's getting the documentary treatment from CNBC in a special called Failure to Recall: Investigating GM. The doc talks to families and individuals directly affected by GM's ignition switch recall and shows firsthand (with assistance from Consumer Reports) what it's like to drive one of the vehicles when it turns off.

The documentary attempts to explain why GM took so long to begin recalling the affected vehicles. It follows the timeline of events from the initial service bulletins to the eventual recall and identifies some of GM's alleged errors along the way – like not changing the ignition switch part number. It also looks at what role the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration played. If you haven't been following the situation closely, the film provides most of the major details. The real highlight might be that the film shows the amount of force necessary for the switch to change position before and after the fix.

Scroll down to watch four clips from the documentary. The third one is the demonstration of what it's like when the ignition switches off. The entire film can also be streamed on CNBC's website, here. Finally, if you prefer not to watch on your computer, it airs on TV again on Monday, May 19, at 10:00 PM ET/PT.








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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      Clipper44
      • 7 Months Ago
      Good. The more publicity about GM being the trashiest car company, the better.
        timu521
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Clipper44
        Absolutely 100% agree! Trash! Anyone who supports or buys GM vehicles should have their head examined.
      The Other Bob
      • 7 Months Ago
      How about a documentary on Toyota's failure to make a gas pedal that works with floor matts.
        404 not found
        • 7 Months Ago
        @The Other Bob
        Yeah ABC made one, but they failed miserably and became the laughing stock of the media.
        fran
        • 7 Months Ago
        @The Other Bob
        Don't be stupid! Toyota ain't got nothing on the floor "Matts". #EPICFAIL
          Luke
          • 7 Months Ago
          @fran
          You talk about epic fail...and yet you put a '#' on a comment board that doesn't utilize hashtags.... Yeah, okay.
      That Guy
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm going to go ahead and assume this is another attack on GM and will not show how this is a non issue and that your chances of having this happen are 0.00001 percent (43 incidents out of 3 MILLION vehicles).
        404 not found
        • 7 Months Ago
        @That Guy
        The bigger issue is that GM changed parts without changing part numbers, and issued the recall a decade after they found out about the issue.
          Blackax
          • 7 Months Ago
          @404 not found
          GM didn't change the part number the suppler did. And again nothing about this issue is safety related.
      cruzer
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is being blown up by the media just like they did with Toyota a few years ago. It will blow over just like Toyota. The sooner the better, tired of hearing about it.
      mbukukanyau
      • 7 Months Ago
      Has CNBC investigated any of its reporters for fabricating stories?
      Tariff The Imports
      • 7 Months Ago
      GM. Ppfftt.
      artspeedperformance
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm so glad that the esteemed Consumer Reports collaborated on this with CNBC, so there is obviously no bias. (Lets shoot rockets off to set a C/K pick up on fire, and tip over a Suzuki Samurai.). Isn't the melodrama the realm of Dateline and not a business network like CNBC?
      bbostic5
      • 7 Months Ago
      More like, "Total Recall"
      Avinash Machado
      • 7 Months Ago
      So much flogging of a dead horse.
        captainslg
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        A dead horse that my tax dollars paid to resuscitate. And now it claims to be a completely different horse. Then it promptly ate the same loco weed that caused it to be nearly dead before tax dollars were wasted reviving it. Oh, and it's the same loco weed that built the Corvair. Then criminally harassed anyone that criticized the poor design and safety of that vehicle. New GM is and will continue to make the same mistakes as old GM. I wish this horse would stay dead. Or at the very least actually TRY to become a different horse.
      sirjaysmith
      • 7 Months Ago
      Regardless of the severity of the issue, its an issue and it needed to be fixed. GM is being strung up for it, rightly so, but what about the executives that were in charge at the time the decision was made to ignore the issue? The executives of GM of old, are they being called to court as well? or just current GM employees?
        Blackax
        • 7 Months Ago
        @sirjaysmith
        How is this an issue that "Needed to be fixed" The issue has and never will be a safety issue. Its about customer satisfaction with the car. When the key gets turned to the off position you don't not lose control of the car. You still have power breaks for at lease two full stops, and when moving at any amount of speed the steering in only marginally more heavy. This isnt about some Huge GM safety cover-up, because there is nothing to cover-up.
          Jesse
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Blackax
          I would think 13 deaths that the company itself linked to failed deployment of airbags as a result of these ignition switches were "covered up" until they were made to investigate after the fact. http://consumerreports.org/cro/2014/03/gm-recall-raises-concerns-about-warning-systems-for-auto-safety/index.htm
          m_2012
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Blackax
          This is only a safety issue. A car randomly shutting of at speed and not deploying critical safety equipment is NOT a customer satisfaction issue. This is just one issue of many that is at the root of what is wrong with GM. What part of GM do you work for? You are exactly the the type of person they should fire immediately - OLD GM. They have already admitted to covering it up. You cannot even debate that part.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 7 Months Ago
      From the 3rd video: @1:10 "Once that happens you can't start the car anymore." If you shift into "N", you can. Don't even need to press the brake pedal. I've done that with other cars before. Loss of power steering and brakes does suck though.
      Luke
      • 7 Months Ago
      I didn't realize that the car cannot be restarted after being put into accessory. That's pretty big, especially considering everyone who'e saying "Just restart the car!" You can't put it in 'Off' to reset it unless it's in Park. Kind of hard to do at anything other than a complete stop....
        tiger
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Luke
        put the car in neutral while still coasting, turn the ignition switch to the crank position and vwaaa-laaa, car starts. It floors me that so many people do not realize they can do that. I like how the guy driving the test car started swerving after he PURPOSELY turned the key off. if the car shuts off in a straight line, there is no need to swerve, Further, you will still have vacuum reserve in the brake booster and you can get one or two booster assisted stops out of the brakes before having to use extra human force. So, you never loose steering, just harder. You never loose brakes, just harder. AND the car CAN be restarted while rolling, just calmly shift to neutral and start the car.
          clquake
          • 7 Months Ago
          @tiger
          Try doing this in a 2 second span. Car looses power on the highway as you take an off ramp, traffic is stopped at the bottom of the ramp, you have 2 seconds to react, you pump the brakes, realize that you've just used the reserve, try to steer, but since you've never had a manual steering car before, it's pretty hard and you're not prepared to use your entire body to turn something you could turn with one finger a moment ago. By the time you've processed this, you've now slammed into the stopped traffic. Very few people in the world will calmly do anything when they suddenly can't stop or steer and know they're about to impact something. All you can really do is brace for impact.
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