In the wake of the General Motors' ignition switch recall last year, the automaker was hit by a $35 million fine from the US Department of Transportation last May and agreed to what was called at the time, "unprecedented oversight" by the agency. A year after that decision, the US DOT has decided to extend its watch over the company's safety reporting for an additional year.

"GM learned a hard lesson last year. We expect to see the improvements they've made continue and that their new approaches are applied to every GM safety issue and every recall. Today's action will help keep them on the right track," US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the announcement.

The Feds decided to extend its close regulatory supervision an additional year because "the consent order has proven to be a productive and effective tool." The oversight duties actually fall on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it has the ability to review GM's process for deciding on defect issues. The automaker also is required to submit reports and hold regular meetings with the regulator.

"We have used our monthly meetings with NHTSA to foster a relationship that's candid, transparent and totally focused on the safety of our customers. We've come a long way and we fully intend to build on this progress," said GM spokesperson Alan Adler in a statement to Autoblog.

In 2014, GM recalled nearly 27 million vehicles in the US. So far, the company's ignition switch resolution facility has accepted claims for over 100 fatalities that were linked to that faulty part.
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U.S DOT Extends Federal Oversight of General Motors

The news comes on the anniversary of GM's historic agreement with NHTSA after facing record fines for the long-delayed Chevrolet Cobalt recall

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that it has decided to extend federal oversight of General Motors' review, decision-making and communications about potential vehicle safety issues for an additional year. In a May 14 letter, NHTSA requires GM to continue submitting reports to and meeting with NHTSA so that the agency may monitor the progress of GM's investigation of potential safety issues and other actions required by NHTSA's May 2014 Consent Order.

"GM learned a hard lesson last year. We expect to see the improvements they've made continue and that their new approaches are applied to every GM safety issue and every recall. Today's action will help keep them on the right track," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx.

Last May, the company agreed in the Consent Order to pay a record $35 million civil penalty and to take part in unprecedented oversight requirements as a result of findings from NHTSA's timeliness investigation regarding the Chevrolet Cobalt and the automaker's failure to report a safety defect in the vehicle to the federal government in a timely manner. The defect resulted in the non-deployment of airbags in certain Chevrolet Cobalt and other GM models. Today's action is an extension of certain requirements of that agreement. Other requirements continue for an additional two years.

NHTSA extended its oversight because the consent order has proven to be a productive and effective tool to proactively and expeditiously address potential safety-related defects.
"Our oversight has been effective and GM's in a better place. We expect that our agreement will help them continue to improve their safety culture," said NHTSA Administrator, Mark Rosekind. "Automakers can learn an important lesson from GM. Follow the rules, be accountable for your products, take good care of your customers and always make safety the priority."


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