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Documents show GM knew of defects

Reuters

General Motors engineers were well aware of serious problems with ignition switches in GM small cars, but rejected several opportunities to make fixes, dozens of confidential documents released Friday by a congressional committee showed.

Parts supplier Delphi Automotive also repeatedly tested switches and found they did not meet GM specifications, according to emails and other memos.

The internal documents from GM, Delphi and a U.S. safety agency chart numerous examples of switch failure, which led GM earlier this year to recall 2.6 million cars to replace defective parts now linked to 13 deaths.

The documents, the first tranche of some 250,000 pages, were released by the House energy committee, which two weeks ago grilled GM’s chief executive on the automaker’s slow response to problems that GM first documented in 2001.