General Motors has completed a three-year consent order that required regular meetings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to discuss vehicle recalls and other safety-related matters, the automaker said.
The order, agreed upon in May 2014, resolved claims related to the timeliness of GM’s ignition switch recalls. The defective ignition switches were linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries.
GM is now proposing to return to a more voluntary, traditional model for communicating with the federal safety agency. Jeff Boyer, GM vice president for global vehicle safety, said the company has made major strides in its efforts to ensure customer safety.
“For example, we took the important step of creating a new product safety structure, which has enabled us to be significantly more innovative with our safety oversight,” Boyer said. “We have also fielded and responded to hundreds of product safety concerns raised by our employees though our Speak Up For Safety initiative.”
GM’s new proposal includes monthly meetings with senior NHTSA officials, with expedited discussions as needed. Meetings will address field investigations, safety recalls and other issues. GM is also proposing periodic meetings with NHTSA and other stakeholders to discuss safety matters of concern to the overall industry.
“GM’s goal is to bolster lessons learned and to continue a cooperative relationship between GM and NHTSA to help further advance motor vehicle safety,” Boyer said.
In related news, GM agreed to settle federal lawsuits tied to the defective ignition switches, Reuters reported. The lawsuits involve as many as 203 plaintiffs. The terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.