It seems that every time anything comes out about the GM ignition switch scandal, things look worse and worse for the automaker. This time, it’s the New York Times calling out the car company, saying it has lied to everyone about when it first learned about the problem.
The newspaper poured over GM’s responses to inquiries made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plus internal investigation documents. In the end, what the company said it knew and what is contained in the documents don’t line up.
The New York Times used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about the different fatal accidents that are known to have been caused by the ignition switch issue. In one, a driver behind the wheel of a Saturn Ion was tried for negligent homicide when she lost control of her car and crashed into a tree, killing her passenger. Even though the driver had traces of Xanax in her blood, GM could have cleared her name by coming clean on what it knew about the defective switch. Instead, the company chose to do nothing.
Other cases of the automaker refusing to release information that would have solved deadly wrecks were also detailed by the Times. Essentially, GM allegedly stood in the way of serving justice in those cases, plus it put more lives in danger as car owners continued to operate vehicles that were known to be unsafe.
The real question is whether this news will put any kind of a damper on the red hot sales GM has been experiencing lately.