At this point, there's little question that General Motors deserves the bulk of the blame for not recalling the millions of vehicles affected by the ignition switch problem earlier than it did. And to a large degree, GM is facing the music and accepting blame for its mistakes, even if that acceptance won't bring back the 13 or more deaths attributed to the faulty components. But does GM deserve all the blame?

Fingers are now being pointed at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government body responsible for investigating potentially problematic vehicles and ordering recalls where necessary. But according to the administration and the Department of Transportation of which it's part, NHTSA is not to blame.

In fact, while GM has fired 15 employees over the ignition-switch debacle, The Detroit News notes that NHTSA has not dismissed or even disciplined a single employee for not having caught the problem sooner. Both NHTSA chief David Friedman (pictured above, right) and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx (behind Friedman) say that the government is not to blame, and needn't be held accountable for not having ordered a recall because it could not have known there was a problem. This despite, NHTSA officials having alerted the agency to the issue back in 2007.

NHTSA may have to face some difficult questions and potential repercussions soon, however, as the commerce committees in both the House and the Senate plan to hold hearings into the matter later this year.


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  • 21 Comments
      dfkd
      • 5 Months Ago
      "...even if that acceptance won't bring back the 13 or more deaths..." Damnit Autoblog. Pay the editors more or get new ones. We would want the lives back, not the deaths.
      jesscott
      • 5 Months Ago
      LOL, you want someone in this administration to step up and take responsibility? Magic 8 ball says.....Not Likely
      Karfreek
      • 5 Months Ago
      Didn't the head of the NHTSA abruptly resign right about the time Akerson did...? Come on people, it's clear as day!!! http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/nhtsa-administrator-david-strickland-resigns/2013/12/12/8fa5c0d0-6350-11e3-a373-0f9f2d1c2b61_story.html
      mbukukanyau
      • 5 Months Ago
      But But, government employees can do no wrong you see. Even the IRS can loose their incriminating emails without consequences.
      Arizonarelax
      • 5 Months Ago
      LOL! Follow the leader. No accountability in the Whitehouse why should anyone tell the truth or be responsible. Oh, that's right the sheepeople can grow a pair and vote the bums out before Washington takes that away as well.
        knightrider_6
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Arizonarelax
        @icemilkcoffee 33% Republicans blame Obama for Hurricane Katrina. Talk about low information voters
        knightrider_6
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Arizonarelax
        Eric Cantor is gone. John Boehner and Mitch McConell should be next.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Arizonarelax
        From the article "despite NHTSA officials having alerted the agency to the issue back in 2007" Guess who was in the Whiet House back in 2007? A lot of republicans seem to be suffering from selective amnesia where 2001-2008 just disappeared into a black hole.
      Car Guy
      • 5 Months Ago
      NHTSA had a chance to open an investigation in 2007 and again in 2010. Both times they closed the case. You can't put it all on GM. What are we paying people in the government to do then???
      Revis Goodworth
      • 5 Months Ago
      No one gets fired in this administration - if you fail at something they promote you!
      Larry Litmanen
      • 5 Months Ago
      Ummmm no heads rolled after Bengazi, IRS, 0bamcare, Syria, ISIS taking over Iraq..................believe me the only thing that is rolling is a golf ball.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen
        They just took the terrorist responsible for Benghazi into custody, so I suppose heads will roll there (figuratively speaking of course). As to Syria and Iraq- as far as I know, those are not the 51st and 52nd states of the USA, so what happens there is none of our business. If they want heads to roll they need to arrange that for themselves. Unca Sam is done with rolling heads in the ME.
      MTU 5.0
      • 5 Months Ago
      Who in the government ever gets fired? That is part of the problem with growing government, they essentially have no accountability. Not where it counts anyway.
      knightrider_6
      • 5 Months Ago
      but... but... we should let the "free markets" regulate themselves, right?
      hemusbull
      • 5 Months Ago
      Of course, the heads are rolling up...from the public!
      Charles Robichaud
      • 4 Months Ago
      of course not, they're government employees... they are golden= just like their retirement plans!!!
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