BUSINESS

Federal grand jury now investigating General Motors' use of faulty ignition switches

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, displays a GM ignition switch similar to those linked to 13 deaths and dozens of crashes of General Motors small cars like the Chevy Cobalt. (Photo: Associated Press)
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WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- A federal grand jury is now investigating General Motors recall of 2.6 million small cars tied to faulty ignition switches and has subpoenaed documents relating to the case, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening.

GM has linked the ignition switch problem to at least 13 deaths in 32 crashes involving Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions.

The grand jury is likely examining why GM knew about the switch problem for at least a decade but only started recalling the cars this past February.

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A report from Anton Valukas, a former federal prosecutor hired by GM to do an internal investigation, highlighted bad corporate habits, such as the "GM nod" - agreeing on a plan of action but doing nothing.

At a recent Congressional hearing, lawmakers cited an internal GM document that said replacements for the faulty ignition switches would've cost the company just 57 cents apiece.

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