US safety agency likely is investigating GM for slow response to small-car problem

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DETROIT - The U.S. government's auto safety watchdog likely is looking into whether General Motors was slow to report problems that led to 13 deaths and a massive recall of small cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to fine the company at least $35 million for not being forthcoming with information.

GM on Tuesday doubled to 1.6 million the number of small cars being recalled to fix faulty ignition switches linked to multiple fatal crashes. The company also issued a rare apology, saying its process to examine the problem was not robust enough.

The safety agency said in a statement Tuesday that it is reviewing GM documents and has questions about when GM found the ignition defect and when it notified regulators.

Organizations: General Motors, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Geographic location: U.S., DETROIT

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