Foxx: No Penalties Issued Within NHTSA Over GM Ignition Recall

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Though General Motors gave 15 of its employees the ax over their part of the February 2014 ignition switch recall, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told those in the National Press Club Monday that no one in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was fired or disciplined over their part of the recall and subsequent fallout.

The Detroit News reports that while no one was penalized in the slightest within the agency, Foxx ordered a review on the NHTSA’s handling of the recall and other complaints:

I’ve asked our inspector general to go through and do an after-action on this GM situation to see if there is anything we didn’t do that we should have done. We will learn from that report, and until that time we have our team intact.

Foxx also defended the NHTSA in regards to the possibility of rehiring former employees who are currently working in the auto industry, proclaiming it has “ethical requirements that really guard against” undue influence in favor of the automakers.

Meanwhile, both houses of Congress are planning a second round of hearings with the agency later this year, with the goal to determine why it failed to link a series of complaints over ignition/airbag issues in Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions to the out-of-spec switch at the heart of the February 2014 recall.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • 05lgt 05lgt on Jul 22, 2014

    The tone of the piece and the quote don['t exactly jibe. There's an ongoing (or at least requested) IG investigation and "until that time our team is intact." isn't the same as no one will ever be reprimanded or fired. The quote reads more like *Yet*. I'd summarize it more along the lines of: No one will be fired or reprimanded until we've investigated what happened, we're tired of paying lifetime salaries to people who don't work for us anymore over wrongful termination.

  • DrGastro997 DrGastro997 on Jul 22, 2014

    This obviously says plenty with no surprises. Corruption and incompetence enhanced by our Chief Fundraising Officer. If there's no serious consequences then GM and it's suppliers have learned absolutely nothing. The next big recall/killer is just around the corner.

  • CapVandal CapVandal on Jul 22, 2014

    Corporations are held to a higher standard than regulatory agencies? What is new about that? And why not? Big picture, cars are getting safer. Year by year. The industry had a golden opportunity to get out in front on safety in the 1950's. That didn't work out so well. The ignition recall on a stand alone basis is silly. But, once again, the auto makers beginning with Toyota and now GM have had a come to jesus moment. Rough justice. Which is about as good as it gets.

    • TrailerTrash TrailerTrash on Jul 23, 2014

      Well...a couple points. And please help me out if I am off base on any of this stuff... There is no solid proof regulations are responsible for the safety of cars. Cars were getting safer long before the regs came. They are also getting rediculously expensive needlessly. Auto manufacturers, if allowed to compete, will match whatever sells well with an improvement of their own. After was/is manufacturers developing the new safety..NOT the government. Yes, perhaps some improvements were forced...but that is not to say they were needed. For instance, I am not a lover of the airbag. I think the Volvo developed cross seat belt was doing its job and in fact airbags might cause specific harm. I am not convinced wearing a shoulder seatbelt would not be enough. Besides...IF you do not wear your seatbelt you can STILL sue the manufacturer for damage and injuries... go figure, huh? You break the law and still win! Government getting involved even hurts. I remember the help the government gave U.S. manufacturers protecting American tire mfgrs by preventing the importing of the Michellin tires...a MUCH better and safer tire. Now THAT is government regulation at work.