from the more-than-just-a-lucky-premonition dept.
The NYT reports that according to emails to its supplier Delphi Automotive, General Motors placed an urgent order for 500,000 replacement switches nearly two months before notifying federal regulators and the public that it was recalling cars with a dangerously defective ignition switch. The emails were sent on December 18, 2013, a day after a crucial committee met to discuss the switch issue but declined to order a recall. Despite the official inaction, a GM employee sent an email to Delphi the next day requesting the half-million replacement parts: for “an urgent field action for our customers.” The emails were turned over by Delphi during discovery in sweeping class-action litigation against the automaker and were released to the press by Robert C. Hilliard, one of the three lead attorneys for plaintiffs in the case. The fault had been known to GM for at least a decade prior to the recall being declared. Some have suggested that the company actually approved the switches in 2002 even though they knew they might not meet safety standards