Five years after the Obama administration forced the country's largest automaker into a government-backed bankruptcy, the man who led the charge said the auto task force had no inkling of the ignition switch defect that caused millions of General Motors vehicles to be recalled.
"We had no idea," said Steve Rattner, who served as the lead adviser on the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry. "As far as I know, none of the management people we were dealing with knew about it, so we didn't know about it, nor could we have."
Rattner's comments on CNBC's "Squawk Box" come as critics of GM are questioning how many of the automaker's executives knew about the issues involving faulty ignition switches.
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Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slapped a maximum penalty of $35 million on General Motors for not reporting the defect "in a timely manner."