In response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
GM sent some 200,000 pages of documents to the safety agency by a
Thursday midnight deadline, GM spokesman Greg Martin said on Friday.
The company has provided answers to nearly 65 percent of the 107
questions that the NHTSA asked, he said.
"GM is cooperating fully with NHTSA and is keeping the agency
apprised at every step of its progress as it works to respond to the
remaining questions within the special order," Martin said in an
NHTSA said in a statement it has been receiving documents from GM
and "will take appropriate action based on the agency's review." The
agency did not provide a timetable for making the documents public.
In addition to the NHTSA, the U.S. Senate and House of
Representatives are investigating why GM took more than a decade to
recall 2.6 million cars to replace the faulty switches. The largest
U.S. automaker also faces a criminal probe by the Department of
Without warning, the switches can make vehicle engines stall while
operating, stop air bags from deploying, and power steering and
power brakes from operating.
GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra endured a withering attack at
a Senate hearing on Wednesday that opened with accusations that the
company fostered "a culture of cover-up." Barra also faced a House
panel on Tuesday.
Since February, GM has recalled 2.6 million vehicles. And so far
this year, GM has recalled a total of nearly 7 million vehicles, or
about the same number recalled in the previous four years combined.
GM also confirmed the hiring of Jeff Eller, a crisis management
adviser, to help in its response to the recall. Eller declined to
comment, referring questions to GM.
Eller was chairman at Public Strategies Inc, which represented
Bridgestone Corp's <5108.T> Firestone during its tire recall in
2000. He was also director of media affairs during President Bill
"As we have from the start, we are drawing upon those who have deep
experience and expertise in these matters," GM's Martin said. "Jeff
will join a team who is helping us guide our response.
It is GM's third high-level outside hire since the defective
switches came to light.
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On Tuesday, Barra said GM had hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg to
examine what steps the company might take for families of crash
victims. Barra said this week GM would take up to 60 days to
evaluate the matter.
Feinberg administered funds to compensate victims of the September
11, 2001 attacks, the BP Plc <BP.L><BP.N> oil spill, and Boston
Safety advocates said the move indicated the company was
exploring setting up a victims' compensation fund, although GM has
not confirmed that.
GM has also hired former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas to lead the
company's internal probe of why it took so long to discover the
defective switches. Barra said this week that would wrap up in 45 to
Valukas was the court-appointed examiner in the Lehman Brothers
bankruptcy. His probe resulted in a report in 2010 that detailed the
causes of the firm's spectacular collapse.
The automaker has said it would take a charge of $750 million in the
first quarter, mostly for the recalls announced in that period,
including ones linked to the defective ignition switch. That was
increased from $300 million.
On Thursday, GM said in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission it will also take a $400 million charge in the
first quarter because of currency changes in Venezuela.
Separately, Ford Motor Co <F.N> said on Tuesday it would take a
first-quarter charge of $350 million to resolve currency issues with
its business in Venezuela.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Bernie Woodall in Detroit;
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