By on April 29, 2014

GM RenCen

Automotive News reports General Motors’ top lawyer, Michael Millikin, is co-leading the internal investigation with former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas into the events that led to the February 2014 recall crisis that befell the automaker. The former U.S. assistant attorney joined GM in 1977, switching from battling drug lords to corporate traitors, such as the two-pronged litigation against both Volkswagen and former GM purchasing chief J. Ignacio Lopez when it was found Lopez had stolen various confidential documents upon his departure in 1993; the case was settled in 1997.

As for his current case, Millikin and his legal department found themselves under the gun earlier this month before Congress, with legislatures asking how much was known by them regarding the various lawsuits linked to the ongoing recall. GM stated its lawyer learned of the issue at the end of January 2014.

Speaking of investigations, the automaker is tripling the number of product investigators under a restructuring plan announced last week. The investigators are in charge of finding patterns in reports, complaints, lawsuits and miscellaneous data pointing toward a potential safety issue in a given product. The new staff will report to global safety group chief Jeff Boyer, who is also overseeing the newly established product integrity unit created from the former global vehicle engineering unit, the latter divided in two as part of the restructuring plan.

Over in Washington, D.C., The Detroit News reports Sens. Edward Markley of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut want the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a park-it-now advisory for the 2.6 million cars affected by the ignition recall. Though the agency will “respond directly” to the senators in regards to the letter sent to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about the order, the NHTSA will continue to advise affected owners to follow GM’s recommendations until the issue is resolved, and to always wear seat belts. A similar attempt failed before a federal judge two weeks earlier, much to the relief of GM.

Finally, Automotive News posted a thought exercise on the $7,000/day fine GM is paying the NHTSA for failing to fully answer the 107-question survey about the recall. Already over $150,000, and with answers to come as soon as the end of May 2014, the fines would amount to $400,00, the salary paid to U.S. President Barack Obama annually. If carried further, though, Vice President Joe Biden and Obama’s Cabinet would each have a Corvette Stingray parked on the South Lawn in three months, while in just over 4,100 years, the U.S. government could regain every cent of the $10.5 billion paid in the GM bailout; whether there would be a United States by then is another matter, however.

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18 Comments on “Senators Want NHTSA To Force GM To Park Recalled Vehicles...”


  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    The only thing I hate, dispise, loathe, and f*rt in the general direction of more than Gubmit Motors is the lowly, slimy, and degenerate members of our congress. There is no lower level of intellect than those so desparate that congress is their life sustaining job. (Apologies to those who actually did something before running for the lowest position in the multiverse..such as doctors, engineers, etc.)

    So, senators, go do something that you’re capable of…like…er….ah…..

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    No one and nothing can overreact to a minor hazard like my government. I am proud to be an EPMP drone.

    BTW, how all them senators and such gonna eat if they cafeteria workers can’t get to they jobs?

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    No one and nothing can overreact to a TTAC GM article like the B&B.

    Extra points for referring to Obama’s salary…that should generate lotsa hate posts!

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    And the witch hunt continues over what is basically a non issue.

    The question is, why is the Government so against GM? Why is the media against GM?

    Again….all this hoopla over a non issue.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      It’s popular for both sides of the Aisle to appear Tough on GM because there is still a large number of voters who are strongly opposed to the bailout – Democrats because it’s Federal Dollars cozy with Big Business, and Republicans… well, largely because of the same.

      Quick Google-fu says Sen. Markey (can’t find Markley…) is up for Re-election this fall as he is filling Kerry’s Senate seat. Good time to start making real headlines appeasing your Big-Government base, and advocating Federal defiance the standing Federal Judge’s ruling is a hell of a way to accomplish that. I’m kind of surprised Blumenthal (an ex-AG) is tying himself to this horse.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      @Z71 – as ellomdian states, this is pure and simple political theater. Your government is made up of corrupt, dishonest worms who like to make you think there’s an actual “sides of the aisle” construct. Don’t be fooled by these snakes. Try to vote good, honest people into office next time around.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        I don’t think I’d go that far – I’m a fan of about 70% of the government effectively as it stands. The problem, as always, is the 30% voted in by rhetoric and radicalism. I think it’s important to have some sunlight for context – campaigns and bills don’t happen in a vacuum, and politicians aren’t caricatures. Except for justice Thomas :P

        I just think it’s funny that we have real-world evidence of what happens when you reach the extremes of either spectrum – it just loops back around on itself.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    I wonder if some contributions have been made recently to the afore mentioned senators.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So when will the stop sell order be put on stalling BMWs that can lose engine power, resulting in a loss of power steering and brakes and cause a crash.

    Rather than fix the problem in the inline V6 models impact, BMW is taking the far cheaper route of giving an extended warranty – even though they admit they know they have a stalling issue.

    Surely the senators will care even more about their personal vehicles – then those of the Capitol Building cleaning crew.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/bmw-recalls-156-000-vehicles-engine-stall-problems-n92511

    Oh well – I guess the air bags will still work.

    (this was meant as satire, if you can’t figure that out)

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      It sounds like the car already parks itself when there’s a problem. Masterpiece of engineering.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> Surely the senators will care even more about their personal vehicles – then those of the Capitol Building cleaning crew.

      Are you sure the cleaning crew can’t afford BMWs? I’d assume that access to the Capital Buildings trash containers would guarantee a very good income. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these guys had Bentleys.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Actually, the Capitol Hill cleaning crew are driving an uninsured 2004 Saturn Ion with stolen tags and a bad ignition switch that can – wait for it – cause a power failure resulting in the loss of power brakes and power steering. GM is utterly wrong and incompetent (for real) not because they cheaped out on the ignition switch in the first place – but there is very clear evidence that they tried to bury the problem every way possible.

        You kind of missed the point.

        The BMW recall today could result in an engine failure, resulting in a power loss and the loss of power steering and brakes – just like a Saturn Ion. BMW is taking the cheaper path on I6 engines by kicking this problem down the curb – they won’t fix it until AFTER a driver has experienced this problem and lost power while driving. You know, kind of like GM (or Toyota and floor mats and inadequate clearance on gas pedals, or pick the car manufacturer of your preference for malfeasance)

        You would think the good senators would be more concerned about their BMW driving rear ends (a generalization) than those of the masses, like the Capitol Hill cleaning crew driving that dogged out Saturn Ion – since the only thing our elected officials care about is staying elected officials.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    So they want to ground 2.6 million cars over a defect that caused 14 deaths over 14 years? While I don’t want to defend GM’s usual bean-counting-to-the-point-of-stupidity behavior, for heavens sake senators, get some perspective.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      “over a defect that caused 14 deaths over 14 years?”

      And which can be completely cured by simply using the key as intended… as a mechanism to control the ignition, not a catch-all for every damned tsotchke in your pocket.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        And lets add – cars experience power loss under motion every single day – a multitude of them – every single day. And that power loss equates to a loss of power steering and power brakes.

        This is even a more typical emergency situation than say a gas pedal stuck to floor due to entrapment in a floor mat.

        • 0 avatar
          ExPatBrit

          Anyone who has been driving a while has probably had a vehicle just quit on them.

          VAG vehicles burn-up ignition switches a lot, the Golf based cars will toast the main fuse on top of the battery due to corrosion. You will coast to a stop and the wiring may melt too Power locks and windows won’t work.

          This is setting an awful precedent. Loss of power accessories is not a reason to crash.

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