We`re back with an exclusive NBC News investigation into this question, are there new problems with GM cars that were part of a massive

NIGHTLY-NEWS-04

NEWS-04

question, are there new problems with GM cars that were part of a massive

recall to fix a problem with ignition switches that could cause them to

stall and potentially crash?>

repaired as part of that recall. GM says the recalled part is not to

blame.>

KATE SNOW (00:12:25): We`re back with an exclusive NBC News investigation into this question, are there new problems with GM cars that were part of a massive recall to fix a problem with ignition switches that could cause them to stall and potentially crash? There are more complaints now about stalling in GM vehicles already repaired as part of that recall. GM says the recalled part is not to blame. Here`s Gabe Gutierrez.

(Begin VT)

GABE GUTIERREZ (00:12:50): Sandra Lortie was driving her two grandchildren to school in upstate New York in 2014 when she says her Chevy Cobalt locked up at this intersection.

SANDRA LORTIE (00:12:58): At a three-way stop, my car just stalled out right in the middle of the intersection. It was very terrifying to think that I could have, you know, injured my grandchildren.

GABE GUTIERREZ (00:13:11): Sandra`s car was one of the 2.6 million vehicles that GM had recalled earlier that year to repair a safety defect in their ignition switches that caused some vehicles to stop running and stall. The claims program GM established has reported one hundred twenty-four deaths potentially related to that defect. Sandra and her husband Raymond (ph) had the ignition switch on their 2006 Cobalt replaced as part of that recall. The stalling incident at the intersection happened after the repair.

SANDRA LORTIE (00:13:37): When it got fixed, they said that this-- this is what`s causing it. You won`t have any more issues with this.

GABE GUTIERREZ (00:13:44): But after she reported stalling problems following the repair, she says GM did not inspect the car. GM says it did offer to pay for a diagnostic service but Sandra claims she declined the service because GM did not offer to pay.

(00:13:58): In response to NBC News` questions, GM has acknowledged that some of its customers have been reporting stalling problems in their recalled cars after getting the ignition switch repairs. GM says it`s very concerned about these reports.

(00:14:11): It told NBC News its engineers have thoroughly inspected about fifty other such vehicles but have found no connection between ignition switch repairs and stalling incidents. Sandra Lortie`s Cobalt model is on a consumer safety watch list that gathers raw government data about vehicle incidents nationwide and analyzes it for trends in death and injury claims. For the most recent year of data, GM vehicles are well-represented on that list in the aftermath of the ignition switch recall, which likely increased the reporting of such claims. All but one were models that had been part of that recall. Most on the list, for electrical problems. And consumer complaints registered with the industry`s regulator include accounts similar to Sandra Lortie`s. One driver reported, "I just received my car back after it was fixed and the same problems are occurring still. I was going sixty miles per hour when my car completely lost power." Another, "The vehicle stalled intermittently on several occasions. But after undergoing the ignition recall repair, the failure soon recurred." Sean Kane, who founded the group that created the list, says all this raises questions.

SEAN KANE (The Safety Institute) (00:15:13): Is the recall adequate? Did the switch really fix the problem? Are there other electrical issues that need to be addressed in these vehicles?

LANCE COOPER (The Cooper Firm) (00:15:20): That`s a trend that needs to be further investigated.

GABE GUTIERREZ (00:15:23): Working with the Safety Institute, attorney Lance Cooper. He represented the parents of Brooke Melton, who died when the ignition switch in her Cobalt failed in 2010. Their lawsuits helped prove GM knew of the defect for years, yet failed to act. The Meltons are now using the settlement money to fund the watch list.

BETH MELTON (Brooke`s Mother; June 2015) (00:15:40): What we really hope is for other families to be able to use this information and-- and prevent accidents. We think it can save lives.

LANCE COOPER (00:15:51): We`re hopeful that this data can be used to get to the bottom of what`s going on with these cars.

GABE GUTIERREZ (00:15:57): GM points out that the government views the data analyzed for the watch list as unverified allegations. But GM told NBC News it has found other electrical and fuel issues in some of the fifty vehicles it inspected and believes vehicle age and mileage may be factors. The Lorties` vehicle had about a hundred thousand miles on it. It shared its findings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA. Both GM and NHTSA told NBC News they`ve found no pattern. In a written statement, GM says, "We are a company focused on a zero-defect mentality when it comes to safety, and the changes we have made since the ignition switch recall in 2014 are working." It`s not yet clear what exactly is causing the new complaints of stalling, or whether the Cobalt poses a larger risk. But Sandra Lortie wants to know.

SANDRA LORTIE (00:16:43): I would like them to be accountable for their vehicles.

GABE GUTIERREZ (00:16:48): Even though she`s gotten rid of her Cobalt and is now driving a different car to take her grandkids to school.

(00:16:55): Gabe Gutierrez, NBC News, Washington.

(End VT)

KATE SNOW (00:16:59): And GM says it wants to hear from customers about any safety concerns.

(00:17:03): We`re back in a moment with an idea that seems to defy logic.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

END

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