While testing some of the first cars off the assembly line in

Documents show GM’s early knowledge of switch defect

The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center canada goose outlet uk in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009. safety agency chart numerous examples of switch failure, of the sort that led GM earlier this year to recall 2.6 million cars to replace defective switches now linked to at least 13 deaths.The documents, the first tranche of some 250,000 pages, were released by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which last canada goose kensington parka uk week grilled GM Chief Executive Mary Barra on the automaker slow response to problems that GM first documented in 2001.Committee Chairman Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said the documents illustrate within the system. Other lawmakers have questioned whether GM action are criminal.Meanwhile, a top official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told General Motors in a July canada goose outlet toronto address 2013 email that the automaker was to communicate, slow to act on defects and recalls.Still to be answered is whether top GM executives were aware of the issues early on, as engineers struggled to pinpoint causes and solutions for ignition canada goose outlet parka switches that could be turned off inadvertently with the vehicle in motion, causing the engine to stall and cutting power to steering, brakes and airbags.GM says it is cooperating with Congress and conducting its own investigation of the circumstances that canada goose outlet vip led to the recall.The documents show the automaker canada goose outlet website legit repeatedly elected not to fix or replace the canada goose outlet montreal faulty switches, because there was no acceptable case an indication the solution was deemed too expensive.Federal regulators as canada goose outlet in chicago early as 2007 were concerned that GM was canada goose outlet shop dragging canada goose jacket outlet its heels on safety measures as consumer complaints mounted, but top officials at NHTSA never followed through on staffers recommendations to open a broad investigation, according to the documents.EARLY EVIDENCE canada goose outlet locations in toronto OF PROBLEM It was determined eventually by GM that the switches didn have canada goose stockists uk enough torque, the rotational force required to keep them from moving from the position to which shut down the canada goose outlet legit engine.A root cause of the problem was a tiny set of parts, called a detent plunger and spring, that helped keep canada goose outlet london the ignition key in canada goose jacket outlet uk position while the car was running.A GM engineer at the canada goose womens outlet automaker mid Michigan test track encountered an https://www.canadagoosestorevip.com early problem with the switch while driving a prototype of the 2003 Saturn Ion in July 2001.An internal GM memo on the incident noted that a down evaluation on the switch revealed two cause of failure. Low contact force and low detent plunger force. The memo said both issues were resolved with newer parts, and the case was closed that November, less than a year before the all new Ion went into production. One of the engineers who signed off on the fix was Ray DeGiorgio, the designer of the switch.DeGiorgio was one of two GM engineers placed on paid leave earlier this week as GM continues an canada goose outlet belgium internal investigation of the recall. GM did not canada goose outlet toronto factory explain the move and DeGiorgio could not be reached for comment.Supplier Delphi submitted a batch of Ion switches in December 2001, but canada goose outlet las vegas informed GM that its tests showed many of the switches did not meet GM torque specifications, according to GM validation documents. Nevertheless, GM approved the parts for production in May 2002, another document shows. The first Ion rolled off the line in August that canada goose outlet in new york year.GM was already beginning to monitor customer complaints about engines stalling in the Ion canada goose uk site in canada goose factory outlet vancouver 2003, but noted are rarely able to duplicate the concern.FAULTY COBALT SWITCHES In the meantime, the automaker had begun to develop canada goose outlet in montreal a sibling to the Ion, the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While testing some of the first cars off the assembly line in October 2004, engineer Gary Altman noted that driver knee bumped the key in such a manner as to turn off the ignition.Altman, the program engineering manager for the Cobalt and Ion, was canada goose outlet online store the second GM engineer put on paid leave this week for undisclosed reasons. He could not be reached for comment.Engineers considered possible remedies, but it was decided that tooling cost and piece price are too high and the lead time required to make the change too long. The case was closed in March 2005, with engineer Blendi Sullaj noting, of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.Problems persisted with engines stalling in the Cobalt, which GM engineers by then had traced to the faulty switches.In another document, Delphi engineers on June 14, 2005, discussed a request from GM that canada goose outlet canada they perform an analysis on the switch.is blowing up in their face canada goose outlet phone number in regards to turning off with the drivers knee, wrote Delphi engineer John Coniff.A second GM canada goose outlet nyc investigation in June 2005 for goose outlet canada stalling engines in the Cobalt resulted in a recommendation to provide an ignition key insert to customers, but no change in the faulty switch because the case (was) not supported to redesign the part.Another group of GM engineers in September 2005, in an email chain, discussed postponement until fall 2008 of a proposal to implement canada goose outlet a new switch on the Cobalt, Ion and companion vehicles, because the change would add $400,000 in retooling cost, plus an additional 90 cents per vehicle.Lori Queen, the top executive overseeing GM small car team, challenged the delay, saying, not sure it ok to wait. She could not be reached for comment.REDESIGNED SWITCH DeGiorgio began working with Delphi engineers to implement a more modest change to the existing switch, according to several GM and Delphi documents.DeGiorgio signed canada goose shop uk off on a redesigned switch without a new part number, according to a Delphi internal memo dated May 27, 2006. Since the redesigned switch, which was installed that fall in 2007 Cobalts and Ions, carried over the old part number, it was harder for GM investigators in later years to trace and pinpoint problems canada goose outlet store calgary in the cars.

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