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Documents show GM and Delphi aware of ignition defect for years

Published on Apr 12, 2014 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (REUTERS) - Documents made public on Friday by a US House of Representatives committee provided fresh details on General Motors Co's awareness of problems surrounding ignition switches in millions of its cars - long before the Detroit automaker recalled the vehicles.

These documents also show that federal regulators were concerned that GM dragged its heels on safety measures at a time when ignition-switch failures in some of its smaller vehicles were being linked to deaths that now total 13.

A top official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told General Motors in a July 2013 email that the automaker was "slow to communicate, slow to act" on defects and recalls.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has collected more than 250,000 documents - mainly from GM but also from parts supplier Delphi Automotive Plc and a federal regulator - is trying to find out why it took GM more than a decade to notify the public of a safety problem linked to fatalities.

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