Early this morning, after an exhaustive investigation, it was announced that General Motors had ordered more 50,000 replacement ignition switches six weeks prior to its official recall of their older Chevy Cobalt cars, the model car which has now been officially linked to 30 deaths and 31 injuries (hundreds of other links are still deemed unofficial and are awaiting court decisions).
The order of the ignition switches has raised questions about GM’s inappropriate handling of the case, leaving many to wonder why GM did not issue a formal recall at the time of this order. According to 36 pages of e-mails disclosed by Delphi Automotive, the order was placed in December of last year and stated that GM needed an “urgent field action for our customers.”
“Per the voicemail I just left you, I am looking for a build and ship plan for a large volume of this part to support an urgent Field Action for our customers,” wrote GM contractor Sarah Missentzis on Dec. 18 to Delphi. “I will need to secure a total of 500,000 pcs, at this time. I am not sure if you have any stock you can provide prior to the holiday break or not, please let me know so I can make the manual adds to the system to accommodate.”
Bob Hilliard, the lead attorney for the personal injury and wrongful death plaintiffs against GM related ignition switch defects, was shocked after being informed of the revealing e-mails. Hilliard says, .”After four congressional hearings, months and months of GM’s public promises, now we learn for the first time that GM quietly and desperately ordered half a million replacement ignition switches on December 18, 2013 for what it labeled an ‘urgent field action.'”
“This is simply mind-blowing in its raw evilness.”
Hilliard claims that during the delay between this order and the official recall at least 85 crashes and one death occurred. If this is true, GM could be blasted with a number of high-priced/high-profile fines, just as they should be.
Since the congressional investigations have started, not much has been disclosed about GM’s behind-the-scenes handling of the cover-up (not that it should matter; the public can put the puzzle pieces together). The company has played their cards wisely in an attempt to deflect negative press and distance themselves image-wise from these horrific acts. But now, with the release of these e-mails, the public has the smoking gun, and it’s time for GM to pay the piper.