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Transportation & Infrastructure

Safety agency admits flaws, starts reforms after GM case

ignition_switch.jpg
NHTSA
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DETROIT - The U.S. government's auto safety agency admits that it didn't understand technology and wasn't skeptical enough to root out the General Motors ignition switch problem for more than a decade.

The admission comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a series of reports and actions designed to make itself more aggressive in finding and solving safety problems.

Administrator Mark Rosekind says the GM case changed the culture at NHTSA, where previously information from automakers largely went unchallenged. He says actions now being put in place will hold automakers accountable for safety issues.

Ignition switches in older GM small cars can slip out of the run position, shutting off the engine and disabling the air bags and power steering. At least 109 deaths have been blamed on the problem.

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