The ignition switch recall is turning into a major debacle.
We'll save you all of the details regarding the GM ignition switch recalls. Most know the situation by now. As the US government continues its investigation into when exactly certain GM executives and engineers were aware of the faulty ignition switch, things aren't looking too good for the automaker's newly christened CEO, Mary Barra. A GM employee since 1980, Barra recently testified before a US Senate committee tasked with investigating GM's recall process and when exactly it first knew about the defect.
She claimed she didn't know about the ignition switch problem until this past January. However, two Congressional subcommittees looked deeper into the matter and discovered that Barra received an email warning from a company engineer back in October 2011 regarding steering problems for both the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt. That email specifically told Barra, then executive vice president of global product development, that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was upping its investigation of the Ion due to "a concern that a sudden loss of electric power steering could cause crashes."
A sudden loss of electric power steering is just one thing that happens when the ignition switch fails. Barra and this engineer were supposedly set to have a follow-up meeting to discuss the issue, but it's unclear if that ever happened. The investigation continues...