The man in the middle of GM’s faulty ignition switch has finally spoken, and the word “mistake” came up at least twice.
That, does anyone have the number for Google, GM and Honda may join forces, and take a cab … after the break!
Former GM engineer says ‘mistakes were made’ in faulty switch
The engineer at the center of a massive recall, hundreds of lawsuits and 124 deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch that could turn off said Friday in videotaped testimony that he “made mistakes in development of that part,” according to Reuters (via Automotive News).
Ray DeGiorgio worked for GM for 23 years and helped develop a faulty ignition switch that could turn off and disable safety systems in millions of cars. Five years later, when officials recognized the part’s failure, DeGiorgio’s signed off on a change to the part — but not the part number — to address the problem. Lawyers have said that not changing the part number is evidence of a cover-up by GM.
DeGiorgio hasn’t spoken much publicly (he once told the New York Times in his driveway that he “didn’t lie, cheat or steal”) and his deposition will be key in the first of many lawsuits against GM.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: We haven’t forgotten about self-driving cars, guys
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ head of safety said Friday that the automaker is committed to developing autonomous drive technology, despite being seemingly dead last behind Ford and General Motors, who’ve announced several self-driving advancements.
Our engineers are actively exploring autonomous-vehicle technology and its implications. For strategic reasons, we don’t discuss future product plans. However, we currently offer several automated driver-assist features, such as our sensor-fusion forward collision warning systems. These activities help demonstrate our commitment to advancing the development of autonomous-vehicle technology.
Or, “Does anyone have the number for Google?”
Michael Dahl’s statement is related to a 52-week low for FCA stock, which has been battered recently because of a lawsuit and investors’ worries that the company can’t keep up with others in autonomous technology.
Honda, GM may consider joint fuel cell plant
Honda and General Motors may jointly build a fuel cell plant to cut costs and make available sooner alternative fuel cell cars, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).
The incredibly small market for hydrogen-powered cars has meant automakers such as Toyota, BMW, Daimler and Nissan have hesitated in developing a fuel cell plant on their own. Hydrogen-powered cars are most popular in Japan — where GM is not — and have a very small presence in California, mostly due to lack of infrastructure to fuel them.
Feds want states to lower BAC to .05
The National Transportation Safety Board said it wants states to lower their blood-alcohol content limits from .08 to .05 to help cut back on fatal crashes where alcohol is involved.
According to the safety administration, the risk of a fatal crash has more than doubled by the time a person becomes legally drunk, and lowering the BAC threshold could reduce the number of people killed on roadways.
The proposal is part of a larger push by the agency to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads.
While all states use the .08 BAC as the legal limit many states vary in enforcement, threshold for enhancers, repeat offenders and adoption of an interlock device — which we’ve talked about a lot here.
According to NBC, when Australia dropped its BAC from .08 to .05, provinces reported a 5 to 18 percent drop in fatal crashes.
Automakers join in safety pact
Eighteen automakers — every major automaker that operates in the U.S. — joined a voluntary safety pact Friday to focus on better vehicle safety, improved access to early warning data and increased cyber security in cars, according to Reuters.
The broad consensus was made after another busy year for vehicle recalls and fines, and an increasing focus by federal regulators on car safety and automakers’ responsibility for their cars.
Critics of the pact said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should have held their discussions in public with input from outsiders.
“From seatbelts to catalytic converters to airbags to fuel economy standards, automakers have proven time and time again that they do nothing voluntarily,” Democratic Sens. Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.