The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening an investigation into General Motors’ response to an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to 13 deaths, prompting a recall of 1.6 million vehicles. As I have previously reported, the ignition-switch problem has been known for years. What took NHTSA so long?
NHTSA is an executive branch agency, part of the Transportation Department. According to its website, NHTSA “is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. It works daily [emphasis added] to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial.”
Five years ago, when Toyota delayed a recall for vehicles with unintended acceleration problems that allegedly cost some motorists their lives, NHTSA was a tiger. It eventually fined Toyota over $65 million for not recalling its vehicles sooner. TV networks (particularly business news networks) gave the story much air time, as … Read More ➡
Remember President Obama promising “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan?” PolitiFact.com has identified 37 instances of Obama or another top administration official making this claim, or something close to it.
Today we received this email from United HealthCare informing us that our health plan that we like “will no longer be offered:”
… Read More ➡
New evidence is surfacing that General Motors has known for years about the deadly defects in its vehicles (as I suggested here last week) that are just now being recalled. The defects have led to the deaths of at least six people and are the basis of an ongoing lawsuit against GM.
The deadly recall delay by GM has garnered the attention of Mainstream Media as usually GM-friendly sources like USA Today, The New York Times, CNN Money and even CBS Evening News have rightfully decided that the accusations of deplorable behavior by GM deserve to be shared with the public. It is time for GM to explain its handling of the delayed recall that only came after a lawsuit settlement with one of the victims.
It appears that there is an ongoing lawsuit relating to GM’s deadly recall delay, as well as the settled lawsuit … Read More ➡
Last week bankrupt Fisker Automotive was sold to a Chinese company, and Tesla Motors experienced another fire in one of its Model S electric cars.
The Obama administration Green-stimulus losing streak continues. The two luxury electric automaking companies, where the Department of Energy deemed taxpayer “investments” should be placed at risk, don’t inspire confidence.
As NLPC has documented extensively, Fisker burned through more than $1.4 billion, which included $193 million loaned from U.S. taxpayers and millions more from state and local governments. After selling the scraps of its loan to a Chinese businessman, Richard Li, DOE said the government would realize a $139 million loss. Now another Chinese-based company, Wanxiang Group, won the rights to Fisker’s assets with a $149.2 offer at the bankruptcy auction. U.S. taxpayers are none the better for it.
Wanxiang – China’s largest auto parts manufacturer – was also the company … Read More ➡
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally are known as Government-Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs. These days the “S” might stand for “stolen.” A group of their shareholders are arguing as much in federal court in Perry Capital v. Lew. The U.S. Treasury Department, claim the plaintiffs, overstepped its authority by impounding profits in perpetuity through its “sweep” rule of 2012. On Wednesday, February 5, the group, Shareholder Respect, held a conference in Washington, D.C. to highlight its view that the rule violates the terms of the temporary conservatorship under which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been forced to operate since 2008. Ralph Nader, through his group, Public Citizen, organized the event. Speakers included the shareholders’ lawyer, former Solicitor General Theodore Olson. Anyone concerned over the future of property rights in this country should be following this case.
The Washington, D.C.-based Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the … Read More ➡
General Motors recently recalled close to a million vehicles for a deadly problem that resulted in six deaths. The models involved were Chevy Cobalts and Pontiac G5s from the 2005 through 2007 model years. The question is, why did NHTSA and GM wait so long to recall vehicles with a dangerous defect when the problems surfaced years ago?
Scouring the internet reveals many reported stalling incidents for the models in question. My particular Google search went back to 2009 and unearthed disturbing evidence that GM did not properly address issues with faulty vehicles. While the vehicles were manufactured by the “old” version of GM, “new” GM certainly would have been aware of the problems as far back as 2009. Following is an exchange from a forum that ran during the 2009 time period. A poster named Matt eerily references the problem on a Chevy Cobalt chat room on February … Read More ➡
General Motors continues to find innovative ways to make political points while losing market value. The company continues its heavy ad spending, this time at the Olympics. The marketing wizards at GM are trying to tap into the LGBT consumer market, which equals approximately 3.5% of the total population. At the same time, GM shares are getting hit once again as higher inventory levels are leading to heavy discounting. The company still looks a lot like Government Motors.
The main problem for GM regarding inventories centers on the very important (and most profitable) truck segment. The WSJ reported that truck discounts are growing as a result of a 151 day supply of Chevy Silverados and a 131 day supply of GMC Sierras. A 60 day supply is considered to be ideal in the auto industry. GM has had a history of stuffing inventory channels to prop up revenue. Revenue is … Read More ➡
General Motors announced disappointing earnings results today and issued a warning that first quarter results will underwhelm as well. The reasons behind the earnings’ miss are surely going to be explained away by pundits and proponents of the company still known as Government Motors to many. Sorting through the smoke and mirrors can lead to some important and simple explanations as to what is going on at GM.
Before looking at the reasons why GM has drastically underperformed the broader markets since the Obama-orchestrated bankruptcy process of 2009, let’s take a look at one of the most critical takeaways from the latest earnings announcement. GM is now approaching pre-bankruptcy debt levels with over $36 billion in short and long term debt. The company issued $28 billion of new debt with $20.2 billion of that going to pay down existing debt.
What’s that you say? You thought GM had a … Read More ➡
Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) disclosed on Friday that he accepted a third flight on a jet owned by Dr. Salomon Melgen, his largest donor, who is apparently under investigation for Medicare fraud. Last year, when Menendez was forced to admit to that he accepted two flights from Melgen, his office asserted that there were no more flights. Menendez’ failure to reimburse Melgen was characterized as an “oversight,” the same term his office used in reference to the first two flights.
Menendez also disclosed that he has paid more than $400,000 in legal fees associated with investigation of his relationship with Melgen. In 2012, Melgen contributed $700,000 to a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that spent the bulk of the funds for Menendez’ re-election.
Based on information provided by NLPC, the New York Times reported on February 1, 2013 that Menendez went to bat for a … Read More ➡
General Motors shares are dropping again today as January sales figures disappointed Wall Street. Sales for the month fell 11.9% from a year ago with weakness across the board. The news follows last week’s announcement that GM has now dropped to number three in global sales, being surpassed by both Toyota and Volkswagen.
The bad news at GM comes amidst continued political hype for the company. GM CEO, Mary Barra was a guest of honor at President Obama’s State of the Union address last week. Ms. Barra may want to start focusing on the continuing problems at GM instead of politics. Her Obama-appointed predecessors had maintained a strategy that was more concerned with appearances and political correctness than on profitability and sales growth, which has led to the company losing market share both domestically and globally.
GM’s news release for January’s poor sales performance had the same old flavor. … Read More ➡