Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Documents show GM delayed another recall

RECOMMENDED READING


DETROIT — General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, also didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and found 12 crashes and two injuries caused by the problem.

The documents, posted on the agency's website, show yet another delay by GM in recalling unsafe vehicles and point to another example of government safety regulators reacting slowly to a safety problem despite being alerted by consumers and through warranty data submitted by the company.

A recall can be initiated by an automaker or demanded by the government.

Both GM and NHTSA have been criticized by safety advocates and lawmakers for their slow responses to a deadly ignition switch problem in 2.6 million GM small cars. GM acknowledged knowing about the problem for more than a decade, yet didn't start recalling the cars until February. The company says it knows of 13 deaths in crashes linked to the ignition switches, but family members of crash victims say the number is much higher.

The Ion was among GM cars included in a March 31 recall of 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to replace the power steering motors; the recall also covered some older Saturn Auras, Pontiac G6s and Chevrolet Malibus. If cars lose power steering, they can still be steered, but with much greater effort. Drivers can be surprised, lose control and crash.

In a statement issued Saturday, GM acknowledged that it didn't do enough to take care of the power steering problem.

NHTSA closed its investigation because GM recalled the cars.

"This raises more troubling concerns about GM's and NHTSA's actions as well as questions about whether NHTSA has the capability to effectively do its job," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo. "I intend to aggressively pursue these issues as our congressional investigation into GM and NHTSA continues."

DeGette was a ranking member of a House subcommittee that grilled GM CEO Mary Barra this month during a hearing on the ignition switch problems.

Comments
Neighborhood watched

Neighborhood watched

MONICA HERNDON | TimesTampa Police Department mounted patrol Officer William Wagner-Hart rides Pike near Osceola Place and E Henry Avenue in Seminole Heights on Friday. The mounted patrol units join other officers already patrolling the area in t...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

TAMPA — Sick and injured people at MacDill Air Force Base now rely on crews from Tampa Fire Rescue for help, and soon, they’ll have their own dedicated ambulance.Last month, the Tampa City Council approved the purchase of a $323,000 Braun Super Chief...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

Hillsborough Democrats have everything going for them except history

TAMPA — For 15 years, Republicans have held a majority of seats on the Hillsborough County Commission.It’s the longest stretch one party has controlled the board since a corruption scandal expanded the body to seven members in 1985.But all five Repub...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

Freshman quarterback leads Pitt to 24-14 upset over No. 2 Miami

PITTSBURGH — Miami spent the better part of 13 months cultivating the nation’s longest winning streak behind a series of comebacks that returned the swagger to "The U" in all of its "Turnover Chain" glory. Sluggish through the first half against Pitt...
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Woman, 51, robbed in Tyrone Square Mall parking lot, police say

ST. PETERSBURG — A woman was robbed after a man followed her to her car in a mall parking lot Thursday night and shot once at her, police said. The 51-year-old woman, whose identity St. Petersburg police are withholding, was not injured. She was walk...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Lightning falls to Capitals

WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin and Devante Smith-Pelly each scored, Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 shots for his first victory of the season and the Capitals beat Tampa Bay 3-1 on Friday night to end the Lightning’s six-game road winning streak. Jay Beagle ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
USF QB Quinton Flowers shines in 49-42 loss to rival UCF

USF QB Quinton Flowers shines in 49-42 loss to rival UCF

ORLANDO — The "War on I-4" commenced on a damp, cool afternoon beneath gray skies. Meteorologically, it was a bleak Friday.It ultimately faded to black for USF, but not before senior quarterback Quinton Flowers delivered the latest in a volume of bre...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Safety Harbor family, under attack from its pit bull, stabs the dog to death

Safety Harbor family, under attack from its pit bull, stabs the dog to death

SAFETY HARBOR — A family had to stab one of its pit bulls to death Friday after it got loose and started to attack its owners, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Now a 45-year-old mother, Heidi Cooper, and her 14-year-old and 22-year-o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Black Friday still a brick-and-mortar experience for some

Black Friday still a brick-and-mortar experience for some

TAMPA — Standing in a frantic line at Best Buy on Thanksgiving, one young woman beat the system when she showed off the receipt for her new TV, which she had just purchased on her phone. She was waiting to pick it up."I didn’t know you could do that,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Car-sized hole from broken water pipe closes road in Valrico

Car-sized hole from broken water pipe closes road in Valrico

VALRICO — A large hole that opened in Valrico’s Bloomingdale neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day was caused by a broken water pipe, not a sinkhole, county officials said. The hole swallowed a Mini Cooper-sized chunk of Natures Way Boulevard, at the Elm ...
Updated: 1 hour ago