Two internal reports released by the Department of Transportation identify a series of failings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a part of the Department) that allowed millions of defective GM cars to go unrepaired for more than a decade. The ignition switch could suddenly turn off, stalling the engine and disabling the airbags. The reports focus blame for the defect on GM, but they also include an unusually blunt assessment of mistakes made by regulators.
Among other things, the agency admitted that it failed to pay attention to signs of the defect and failed to use its authority to hold GM accountable,
The New York Times reports on the Department's findings and its response.