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10 key events in GM's ignition switch recall

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: June 17, 2014
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General Motors is the subject of multiple government investigations and civil lawsuits for taking more than a decade to recall 2.6 million cars with a deadly ignition switch defect. On Wednesday, GM CEO Mary Barra will appear for the second time before a U.S. House subcommittee to discuss the company's internal investigation into the recall.

Here are 10 key events in the recall saga:

February 2002: GM switch engineer Ray DeGiorgio approves the design of a new small-car ignition switch, even though the supplier says the switch doesn't meet GM's specifications. The switch goes into the Saturn Ion in late 2002. Later, it's used for the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky.

July 29, 2005: Amber Marie Rose, 16, dies in a frontal crash in her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, the first of 13 deaths GM says were caused by the defective switches. A contractor hired by NHTSA found that the Cobalt's ignition had moved out of the "run" position and into the "accessory" position, which cut off power to the steering, brakes and air bags.

April 2006: DeGiorgio signs off on a redesign of the ignition switch, but doesn't change the part number, which will make the change difficult to track later. The new switch goes into cars from the 2007 model year and later.

November 2007: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declines to open a formal investigation into why air bags didn't deploy in some Cobalt and Ion crashes, saying the incidence rate doesn't appear to be higher than peer vehicles.

April 2013: During depositions in a wrongful death case in Georgia, GM is shown evidence that DeGiorgio changed the switch design. In November, GM engineers finally confirm that the design was changed.

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