Documents Show GM Ordered New Ignition Switches Before Recall

General Motors’ massive ignition switch defect saga continues to look increasingly bad for the carmaker as new court documents show the company ordered a half-million new ignition switches, valued at $2.8 million, months before it notified federal regulators that an issue existed.

The Associated Press reports that emails show officials with the car company knew about the deadly defect two months before a recall was initiated.

Emails between lower employees at GM and the parts manufacturer Delphi Corp. shows that GM officials knew as early as December 18, 2013 that an issue involving the ignition switches was present, yet didn’t notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the issue until February 7, 2014.

The documents, released by a Texas personal injury attorney Robert Hilliard, once again raise questions about how much and when GM officials were made aware of the deadly defect and how forthcoming they were in their reporting duties.

The AP reports that the information contained in the new emails was never mentioned by GM CEO Mary Barra when she testified before Congress or in the GM-funded investigation.

Officials with GM say the large replacement switch order was standard procedure even before a recall decision is made.

Despite GM’s procedures, Hilliard says the company should have used those two months to warn consumers about the issue.

Hilliard says the advanced warning could have prevented one death and 85 injuries among his clients alone.

“This pulls the curtain back completely and proves GM has not been forthright,” Hilliard tells the AP.

General Motors currently faces more than 130 lawsuits over accidents and lost vehicle value related to the recall which has been linked to 30 lives and hundreds of injuries.

It was previously reported that officials with GM knew for more than a decade before the first recall about how the ignition switches in several models could slip out of the run position, causing engines in cars to stall. If a stall occurred the power steering, brakes and airbags could become disabled resulting in people losing control of their cars and an increase in the likelihood of injury or death in the event of a crash.

Documents show General Motors ordered 500,000 ignition switches nearly 2 months before recall [The Associated Press]

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