Earlier this week it was reported that the Canadian government was looking for answers from General Motors Canada in regards to whether or not it knew it had vehicles on the road with defective ignition switches. According to the Globe and Mail, GM Canada has responded to Transport Canada saying it was not aware of the situation, potentially clearing the automaker of any wrongdoing in the country.
The U.S. Government stuck GM with a $35 million fine earlier this month after the auto giant admitted it had broken U.S. laws by not recalling cars with defective ignition switches in a timely manner. Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt asked the company’s Canadian arm Thursday if it knew about the switches, which GM reportedly knew about since as early as 2003.
The defect, which has been linked to 12 deaths in America alone, has also affected Canadian drivers. Dany Dubuc-Marquis of Granby, Que. was killed last year when he lost control of his 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and veered off the road. Dubuc-Marquis’ father noticed the car’s airbags didn’t deploy during the crash and subsequently notified Transport Canada. The family of another crash victim from Cornwall, Ont. is also suing GM Canada.
If prosecuted, GM Canada faces a $1 million fine from the government under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Raitt was unavailable for comment to discuss what action the Canadian government plans on taking now that GM Canada has said it was not made aware of the faulty switches until February.