Prosectutors Investigating GM’s Handling Of Serious Safety Problems Involving 1.5 Million Cars

Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into whether GM violated criminal laws by waiting 10 years to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles for serious safety issues.

The New York Times says the investigation was launched by federal prosecutors in New York.

 “The preliminary inquiry by federal prosecutors in New York is focused on whether G.M., the nation’s largest automaker, failed to comply with laws requiring timely disclosure of vehicle defects. The prosecutors, one of the people said, are questioning whether G.M. misled federal regulators about the extent of the problems,” the Times said.

“The investigation is the latest in a widening series of threats to G.M. over its handling of faulty ignition switches in its Chevrolet Cobalt sedan and other cars that the company says are linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths.”

Last month, General Motors said it would recall more than 1.6 million cars because of a defective ignition switch that, if jostled or weighed down by a heavy key ring, could turn off the car’s engine and electrical system, disabling the air bags.

 Investigators are also looking into why federal safety officials did not take action earlier.

The recalls involve 2005-7 Chevrolet Cobalts; the 2007 Pontiac G5; 2003-7 Saturn Ions; 2006-7 Chevrolet HHRs; 2006-7 Pontiac Solstices; and the 2007 Saturn Sky.

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