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GM Recall Victims Move ‘Park It Now’ Fight to Feds

Groups planning to petition NHTSA to force issue.

by on Apr.18, 2014

Sen. Richard Blumenthal called for GM to not hide behind liability protection afforded it from its bankruptcy filing in 2009.

After a federal judge declined to issue a “park it now” order to General Motors, lawyers representing the families of GM recall victims are now attempting to convince the federal government to do so.

The lawyers, victims and their families are preparing to submit a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asking the agency to order GM to park all 2.6 million vehicles that are part of the faulty ignition switch recall.

The Last Word!

“We were disappointed with the court’s decision in this matter,” said Thomas Henry, a Texas-based attorney involved in the case, in a release. “We have hundreds of clients who experienced this fatal defect firsthand, some who were injured in accidents after the recall notice was issued. We have also been hired by numerous families who lost loved ones and individuals who were seriously injured since the ‘Park It’ litigation began.” (more…)

Judge Declines to Order GM to Park Recalled Cars

Automaker working with dealers to fix vehicles.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Family members gather outside the Capitol on Tuesday to mourn victims killed in GM ignition switch crashes. Photo courtesy: Autoblog.com

U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Thomas declined to issue a “park it now” order to General Motors related to the 2.6 million vehicles affected by the company’s ignition switch recall.

“We are pleased that the Court denied the motion for preliminary injunction filed in the Silvas case,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

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The six-page ruling is the result of an effort by Texas attorney Bob Hilliard representing several families in Texas. Hilliard asked for the emergency injunction on April 4 because he feels the vehicles pose a significant safety threat. (more…)

Critics Demand Barra Come Clean about Ignition Decisions

Open letter calls for full disclosure by GM’s CEO.

by on Apr.17, 2014

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Automotive Safety, penned a letter with Joan Claybrook, president emeritus of Public Citizen, demanding GM CEO Mary Barra be transparent about the decision-making process that produced the faulty ignition switches in its small cars.

General Motors executives knew much more about the design flaw in the ignition switch installed in its small cars during the past decade much earlier than GM has officially acknowledged, according to two long-standing critics of the auto industry’s efforts at automotive safety.

In an open letter to GM CEO Mary Barra, Joan Claybrook, president emeritus of Public Citizen, and Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, said it was time GM came clean about how and when the decisions were made to use the cheaper ignition switch and to replace them half a decade later without changing the part number or notifying federal regulators, which could have triggered a recall by GM.

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GM had no immediate comment on the Claybrook-Ditlow letter. (more…)

Senate Investigates Delphi’s Role in Ignition Switch Recall

CEO Rodney O’Neal gets a list of questions to answer.

by on Apr.16, 2014

Delphi CEO Rodney O'Neal has been given a list of questions from four U.S. Senators asking about the supplier's role in producing the faulty ignition switches for GM.

Like it or not, General Motors’ bitter fight with its principal supplier, Delphi Corp., will be examined by a panel of U.S. Senators concerned about what role the supplier might have played in the faulty switches tied to a recall of more than 2.6 million GM vehicles and 13 deaths.

In a letter made public this week, four different senators have asked Delphi Chief Executive Rodney O’Neal on Tuesday a series of questions about the auto supplier’s production of ignition switches.

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The switches were made in a Delphi plant in Matamoros, Mexico, at a time when GM and Delphi were at loggerheads over the cost of components. GM spun off Delphi in 1999 and immediately demanded price downs from Delphi executives, who resented and resisted GM’s push for concessions. (more…)

Chevrolet Makes Trax for NY

After long delay, compact crossover finally is coming to US.

by on Apr.16, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra introduces the new Chevy Trax: the company's first small crossover-utility vehicle at the New York Auto Show.

Chevrolet is making tracks for New York. More precisely, it’s showing off the new Chevy Trax crossover-utility vehicle at the 2014 NY Auto Show.

Small SUVs make up one of the world’s fastest-growing product segments, but until recently, General Motors planners didn’t think there was enough market in the U.S. for the Trax which has been on sale in much of the rest of the world for the last several years.

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But with a growing number of competitors targeting this niche, the corporate bean-counters finally decided to give the little Chevy crossover a green light, and Trax will land in U.S. showrooms by early next year – if not sooner. (more…)

Barra Defends GM’s Efforts to Fix Recalled Cars

CEO fires two top executives while pushing for change.

by on Apr.15, 2014

Embattled GM CEO Mary Barra defended the automaker's handling of the ignition switch recall in a speech today in New York.

General Motors’ Chief Executive Mary Barra today defended the automaker’s response in the wake of the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles and her own handling of a safety-related problem that had festered inside GM for more than a decade.

Barra told a gathering an industry conference in New York City that GM has already taken several steps to replace ignition lock cylinders in the 2.6 million vehicles recalled to repair ignition switches. Parts are arriving at dealers, who have been enormously helpful in addressing the problem, she noted.

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“Our actions in recent weeks show we at GM are committed to living our values. I am committed to seeing it through,” Barra said. “All of us understand what is at stake here.” (more…)

More Shake-Ups at GM

Heads of HR, PR exit as stock falls, investor concerns mount.

by on Apr.14, 2014

New GM HR Director John Quattrone.

Several key executives have handed in their resignations at General Motors. Both the maker’s PR and HR chiefs are off to “pursue other interests,” according to a GM statement, but the moves come at a critical time for the maker as it struggles to do damage control in the wake of an ongoing scandal over its handling of an ignition switch recall linked to at least 13 deaths.

The departures come at a time when GM CEO Mary Barra has had to put two veteran engineers on paid leave for their apparent role in handling a safety issue that the company reportedly knew about for at least a decade.

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Facing investigations by both houses of Congress, the Justice Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as a number of lawsuits over the ignition switch recall, some observers question whether there could be further departures, with CEO Mary Barra’s own tenure hinging on how she manages the recall crisis.

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Congressional Committee Faults “Failures Within (GM) System”

Documents raise questions about who knew what and when.

by on Apr.11, 2014

GM CEO Mary Barra testifies before the House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee.

The Congressional committee investigating the long-delayed the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with a faulty ignition switch, released a flurry of internal General Motors documents today showing what it described as “failures within the system” that allowed critical safety issues to go unaddressed.

Exactly why the ignition switch problem went unresolved for as much as a decade has spurred a series of investigations by the Department of Justice, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and both houses of Congress.  During two Capitol Hill hearings last week, GM CEO Mary Barra was repeatedly criticized for failing to offer clear answers about the ignition switch problem.

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One of the documents released today showed that while in her previous job as GM’s global product development chief, Barra was kept clearly in the loop about a separate recall issue involving steering problems on the Saturn Ion and other GM products. 

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Chevrolet Turns Loose the Latest Z06 Convertible

First Z06 drop top since ’63 puts out 625 hp.

by on Apr.11, 2014

The all-new, 2015 Corvette Z06 will be one of the most capable convertibles on the market, offering 625 hp, and a zero-to-60 mph time under 3.5 seconds.

Chevrolet today unleashed a beast that Corvette mavens haven’t seen in more than 40 years: a Z06 Corvette convertible.

The first Z06 drop top available straight from the factory since 1963, its LT4 6.2-liter V8 puts out 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque with a zero to 60 time under 3.5 seconds. It is the most powerful convertible the Bow-Tie manufacturer has ever produced.

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“The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. “Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible.” (more…)

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, TheDetroitBureau.com 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.

Keeping the Record Straight!

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.

(more…)