GM Completes Three-Year NHTSA Oversight Period

The automaker fell under additional government scrutiny to ensure its ignition switch recall was handled appropriately.

byJustin Hughes| PUBLISHED Jun 23, 2017 10:54 AM

General Motors isn't out of the woods yet with regard to liability from their faulty ignition switch cover-up, but the automaker did just take a major step. GM has now finished three years of intense oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that the automaker handled the recall properly after getting caught. 

“Over the past three years, we have taken significant strides toward our goal of setting a new standard for customer safety,” said Jeff Boyer, GM vice president for Global Vehicle Safety, in a press release Thursday. “For example, we took the important step of creating a new product safety structure, which has enabled us to be significantly more innovative with our safety oversight. We have also fielded and responded to hundreds of product safety concerns raised by our employees through our Speak Up For Safety initiative.”

The NHTSA also seemed satisfied with GM's performance under their oversight. 

“GM’s actions under the consent order have been productive and effective in advancing safety, which is DOT and NHTSA’s top focus,” the agency said, according to The Detroit News

GM has proposed voluntarily continuing the monthly meetings with NHTSA they had under the oversight plan, as well as additional discussions about safety as needed. 

“The company’s voluntary proposal demonstrates its commitment to transparency on safety issues," the NHTSA said. "NHTSA is encouraged by these future steps GM is taking.”

In May 2014, GM paid a $35 million fine to the NHTSA for failing to disclose and remedy faulty ignition switches across many models, now blamed for 124 deaths and hundreds of injuries. That was also when the NHTSA issued a consent order requiring GM's cooperation to ensure that the problem was fixed correctly. Both GM and the NHTSA appear to be satisfied with their progress and working relationship regarding safety at this time. It's just unfortunate that it took a catastrophe of this nature to make it happen.