In the continuing story on defective ignition switches on several older General Motors models, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said that the reason why regulators didn’t take action sooner was because numerous probes by the U.S. government resulted in data that was inconclusive.
“Over the last decade there were complaints related to (these) particular vehicle(s), and despite three crash investigations and other research, the data was inconclusive. It just didn’t point to a formal investigation,” said Foxx to a Senate Appropriations committee yesterday, according to the Detroit Free Press.
This is in response to the recent revelations that General Motors may have known about faulty ignition switches as early as 2001. Congressional investigators have been demanding to know why GM didn’t act sooner, and why the NHTSA didn’t force the automaker to act.
Foxx said the NHTSA launched three crash investigations between 2004-2006, with two of those having their ignition switched moved from “run” to “accessory,” which may have disabled the air bags; three people perished in those two accidents. And in 2003, a technician had noted that the weight on his key chain may have contributed to a worn-out ignition switch. General Motors is currently telling owners of affected cars to remove any excess weight from key chains until the ignition switch can be replaced by dealers.