GM Risked Lives To Save 25 Cents Per Car

Eric Pianin | The Fiscal Times | April 17, 2014

Until now, one of the most perplexing questions in the General Motors scandal is why the storied manufacturer waited more than a decade to recall 1.6 million compact cars with faulty ignition switches that contributed to more than a dozen deaths across the country.

GM CEO Mary T. Barra testified to members of Congress two weeks ago that while she couldn’t answer that or other troubling questions with certainty, an internal company investigation headed by former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas would get to the bottom of that.

Yet, on Wednesday, two prominent highway safety advocates charged that GM in 2001 intentionally chose an inferior design for an ignition switch that it installed in Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other compact cars that the company now concedes contributed to at least 31 crashes and 13 fatalities – many of them involving young people. The failure of airbags to deploy in many of those accidents has been linked to a serious defect in the ignition switch...