CAS Letter to DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovell

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

June 9, 2014
The Honorable Calvin L. Scovell, III Inspector General
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., 7th Floor Washington, DC 20590
Dear Inspector General Scovell:
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is pleased that you have decided to investigate the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) role in the delayed recall of General Motors vehicles with a deadly ignition switch defect.
It is, of course, troubling that NHTSA did not obtain a recall of these vehicles as early as 2007, when the agency would have been fully aware of the defect and its consequences. Even more troubling is the fact that the agency neglected to even open a defect investigation to explore numerous reports of fatalities and injuries in the subject vehicles. The opening of a defect investigation would have provided notice to the public of the dangers of the GM ignition switch, and given NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) an opportunity to demand more information from General Motors. ODI twice failed to take this step, even as crashes related to the faulty ignition switch piled up in various data sources available to investigators.

Read the full CAS Letter to DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovell.