General Motors knew of an issue with its ignition switch several years before it has previously acknowledged.
The company said in a federal filing Wednesday that it discovered an issue with the Saturn Ion ignition switch in 2001 during pre-production development. General Motors (GM,Fortune 500) has previously said it first learned of ignition switch issues in 2004.
The document said a 2001 internal GM report noted "an ignition switch design change had solved the problem."
It wasn't clear from the document if the issue discovered in 2001 was related to the issue that led to the recently announced recall of 1.4 million cars in North America. The issue cited in the recall has beenlinked to 13 deaths.
But it said a 2001 internal report noted "an ignition switch design change had solved the problem."
GM said late Wednesday it has been conducting "a more in-depth analysis of the information related to the vehicles" it recalled.
"Today's GM is fully committed to learning from the past while embracing the highest standards for quality and performance now and in the future," said spokesman Alan Adler.
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