Another recall for General Motors as safety delay hearings begin

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There are more problems for General Motors. It is recalling more than 1.5 million vehicles to fix a problem whereby the power assisted steering could unexpectedly stop working.

The cars can still be driven if that happens, though the steering is heavier.

This brings to 6.26 million the number of vehicles recalled by GM since the start of this year.

US politicians are also holding Congressional hearings into safety problems at GM.

They want to know why the company failed to replace defective ignition switches that are linked to at least 13 car crash deaths in the past decade.

Despite tougher laws being enacted in 2000 and 2010 to encourage carmakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to aggressively root out safety concerns, it took GM more than a decade to acknowledge publicly that it had a potentially fatal problem.

So far, GM has recalled 2.6 million cars to replace ignition switches that could unexpectedly stall out engines, prevent airbags from deploying and make power brakes and power steering inoperable.

The recalls and revelations that GM hid the problem for years, even after being confronted by devastated families who lost relatives in crashes, could have an impact on GM’s bottom line in coming years.

It faces a US Justice Department criminal probe and several lawsuits. In addition its legal costs are escalating and nobody is sure what further steps GM might have to take to protect consumers from vehicles it sold as long as a decade ago.

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