: NHTSA rebukes GM for slow response on recalls



Playdrv4me
01-14-05, 03:43 AM
From Edmunds.com:

Summary: In a shot across the bows of the auto industry, NHTSA scolds GM for dragging its heels on recalls.

Full story: In an unusually harsh rebuke, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has slammed General Motors for being slow to recall vehicles after defects were found.

"GM's recent history with regard to the timing of defect determinations has, and continues to be, a matter of significant concern to the agency," NHTSA said in documents made public this week, according to Automotive News.

The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group, obtained the documents under the Federal Freedom of Information Act and made them available January 12.

Tardiness on recalls can result in huge financial penalties to automakers. GM paid $1 million last year to settle a NHTSA claim that the automaker knew windshield wipers were defective in nearly 600,000 SUVs in late 2002, but did not plan a recall until early 2004. GM has disputed the allegation and said it took timely action once it found a defect.

What this means to you: The federal government is keeping a close eye on General Motors and rest of the auto industry as well. It wants quicker response times on recalls once defects are found in cars and trucks, and rightly so. Carmakers have to make their customers' safety their top priority.