Newly released emails reveal General Motors placed an urgent order for 500,000 replacement ignition switches about two months before it alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the faulty switches back in February and recalled 780,000 cars.
The urgent order, sent by a General Motors contract project manager to the automaker’s ignition-switch supplier Delphi Automotive, represented $2.6 million in revenue. The email was sent December 18, 2013, the day following a committee meeting with senior GM executives, who did not decide on whether to issue a recall. Faulty ignition switches on GM vehicles have been linked to 30 deaths.
In April, CEO Mary Barra testified in front of Congress that she wasn’t aware of the ignition-switch problem on the Chevrolet Cobalt until December, but documents released by a House committee showed an engineer had warned Barra, then vice president of global product development, of the problem as early as 2011.