The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into why General Motors Co. did not promptly recall more than 1.6 million vehicles after it learned that faulty ignition switches were causing fatal crashes.
GM on Thursday issued its second apology for not moving faster to fix the problem, which is linked to 13 deaths in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars.
Safety experts praised the start of the investigation, which could result in up to a fine of up to $35 million, but faulted NHTSA for not taking action earlier, when it found out about the problem.
"This is a total failure of the recall system," said Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. "Both GM and NHTSA bear responsibility."
Sean Kane, who heads Safety Research
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