Congress report says both GM and NHTSA share responsibility for defective ignition switches
According to a Congress report released on Tuesday, the US federal auto regulators - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) - failed to identify a fatal defect in General Motors (GM) cars. The defect, underscoring a recurring issue with ignition switches of several GM cars, led to 19 deaths.
Despite the fact that the NHTSA has been trying to put the blame on GM for its failure to timely detect the ignition-switch defect in its vehicles, the report released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee has asserted that the NHTSA is actually to blame for GM's poor recall and reporting measures.
The report by the Committee comes close on the heels of a Monday statement by NHTSA's Deputy Administrator David Friedman in which the automaker was criticized for its flawed procedures with regard to reporting car defects and dealing with them in a timely manner.
The Committee's report said that both GM and the NHTSA share the responsibility for the defective ignition switches.
Noting that the NHTSA should have correctly identified recurring ignition-switch problems as the agency had the power and information to recognize the defects, Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton - the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee - said: "It is tragic that the evidence was staring NHTSA in the face and the agency didn't identify the warnings."
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