Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) decided to extend its oversight meetings with GM by one more year in order to continue improving the automaker’s safety review process. The decision, which was made despite significant improvements in GM’s safety review process, was part of a governmental decree issued in 2014 that ordered GM to pay a record $35 million civil penalty for delaying a recall of 2.6 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches that has, as of this writing, been linked to 104 deaths and 175 injuries.
So, what is GM’s responsibility during its monthly meetings with NHTSA? As we’ve discovered, GM must:
- Discuss on a monthly basis all new technical service bulletins or other dealer communications related to vehicle safety
- Present its decision-making process associated with vehicle safety, high-frequency warranty claims, or safety-related field reports
- Provide NHTSA with a written list of every safety-related issue concerning vehicles already in the fleet that is under consideration by any GM Product Investigator or otherwise under consideration by GM’s Global Vehicle Safety organization”
The meetings are attended by GM’s vice president of global vehicle safety, Jeff Boyer, as well as other executives, as appropriate. It has been reported that, often over the last year, Boyer has met with NHTSA more than once a month.
The General is required to take part in the meetings for at least another year, or until May 2016. After that, NHTSA can extend the process by one more year as part of the original decree.