Following General Motors recall of cars with defective ignition switches, the automaker’s Canadian arm is being investigated to find out if it also hesitated to recall vehicles which it knew were defective, Automotive News reports.
Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said she instructed officials to get answers from GM Canada as to whether or not it recalled the cars as soon as it knew they had a faulty ignition switch. GM Canada recalled 235,855 cars affected by the faulty ignition switch in February, not long after GM made its announcement on the matter.
“Having seen what has developed in the United States I’ve gone back to my officials to go back to GM Canada and ask them when did they find out. Did they find out at the same time as GM in the U.S. told the world or did they know earlier than that?” Raitt said during a conference call.
“I need to get that information and that answer from GM Canada before we move any further because, as you know, if they had that information and didn’t put the recall in place, then they could be in violation of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act,” she said.
Raitt said it’s important to determine when GM Canada knew about the ignition switch problem in order for them to “have a good case to prosecute under,” despite it already being apparent that GM as a company didn’t act on the issue immediately.
Even though it is clear GM as a company delayed its response, Raitt said it was important to determine separately when GM Canada knew before being able to take any action under Canadian law.
“In order for us to have a good case to prosecute under, it does matter when GM Canada knew,” she said.