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GM Not Working with NASA on Ignition Switch Recall

Space agency would be open to assist – under specific conditions.

by on Apr.11, 2014

A 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, one of the 2.6 million recalled GM vehicles.

Contrary to widely published reports, General Motors will not have the official assistance of NASA as it moves ahead with its internal investigation of the botched recall of 2.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty ignition switches, has learned.

Those reports, which included a story on this site, indicated that the space agency was being recruited to study whether it was safe to continue driving the recalled vehicles if a motorist removed the ignition key from their key ring.

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The issue has become a critical one because a federal judge in Texas is currently considering a request to “ground” all 2.6 million GM vehicles covered by the recall until they can be repaired.

“NASA is not working with General Motors on its ignition switch issue,” the agency’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Communications, Bob Jacobs, said during a Friday interview.


NASA Investigating Safety of 2.6 Mil Recalled GM Vehicles

by on Apr.10, 2014

GM is asking NASA to determine whether it's safe to keep driving 2.6 million recalled vehicles.

General Motors has turned to NASA to help determine whether it is safe for owners to continue driving the 2.6 million vehicles it has recalled due to an ignition switch defect.

That’s a critical question as GM awaits a ruling by a federal judge in Texas who could force the maker to ground all of the vehicles sold in the U.S. and provide temporary loaners to inconvenienced owners.  GM began recalling an assortment of compact models in mid-February, expanding it in several steps since then because of a shared ignition switch has been linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths.

This would not be the first time the space agency got involved in an automotive safety problem.  At the behest of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NASA previously handled an investigation of alleged defects with millions of Toyota vehicles – ultimately finding no problem with the cars’ electronic control systems.

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Ralph R. Roe Jr., the director of the NASA Engineering & Safety Center, is expected to lead the GM inquiry, a source told, confirming an earlier report in the Detroit News.


GM’s Robo-Glove Could Ease Workload in Space and on Assembly Line

Like wearing a robot hand.

by on Mar.13, 2012

Robo-Glove could significantly reduce repetitive stress disorders on an assembly line - while making it easier to work in space.

It may be rocket science, but General Motors says a new robotic glove it’s developing with NASA has some seriously practical applications down on Earth.

Formally known as the Human Grasp Assist, the system is a spin-off of the Robonaut 2 project, a human-like robot GM helped develop that’s now operating on the International Space Station, or ISS.  Known internally as Robo-Glove, the prototype is intended to make it easier to hold something in your grip longer and more comfortably.

The system could be used by space-walking astronauts as well as workers on the assembly line, says Dana Komin, GM’s manufacturing engineering director, Global Automation Strategy and Execution.

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“When fully developed, the Robo-Glove has the potential to reduce the amount of force that an auto worker would need to exert when operating a tool for an extended time or with repetitive motions,” explains Komin. “In so doing, it is expected to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injury.”