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General Motors ordered replacement ignition switches almost two months before announcing recall

Emails from General Motors employees have revealed that the company knew its ignition switches were defective almost two months before announcing a recall.

The chain of emails, released in court Monday and reported by The Associated Press, occurred between GM workers and Delphi Corp., an auto parts company. The emails prove that GM ordered half a million replacement ignition switches before asking the U.S. government to recall its small cars.

The faulty switches were known to "slip out of the run position," AP reports, which caused car engines to stall, disabling brakes, air bags, and power steering, causing drivers to lose control of the cars. More than 2 million cars were recalled for faulty switches, which caused at least 30 deaths.

The emails began discussion of the switch problem on Dec. 18, but GM did not announce the recall to the government until Feb. 7.