The automaker ordered replacement switches two months before it told federal regulators about the issue, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fred Katayama reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE**~ What took you so long? That question is likely echoing again in the minds of lawyers suing GM over the recall linked to those faulty ignition switches. The Wall Street Journal reports that General Motors ordered half a million replacement switches almost two months BEFORE it told federal safety regulators about the issue. And e-mails between the automaker and its supplier, Delphi Automotive, show it made that move one day after a meeting of senior executives. The lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Robert Hilliard, said, 'This is simply mind-blowing in its raw evilness." No response yet from GM and Delphi. GM knew there were problems with its ignition switch 11 years ago. The switches could stall the vehicle and disable air bags. They've since been linked to 30 deaths and 31 injuries deemed eligible for compensation. The switches led GM to recall 2.6 million vehicles this year. GM shares, down nearly 23 percent this year, lost further ground in early trading. While the scandal has hurt the stock and its image, it hasn't dented sales, and GM has been able to boost its prices. Buckingham Research says that higher pricing could fatten its margins, and it reiterated its buy rating on GM.