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TODAY   |  March 13, 2014

GM facing tough questions over recall

General Motors now says it first noticed a problem with ignition switches in 2001, three years earlier than it had previously reported. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>> on the gm recall we've been following.

>> and gm facing more questions this morning in the wake of the massive recalls. gabe gutierrez is at gm headquarters in detroit. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. gm now says it first noticed a problem with ignition switches back in 2001 . that's three years earlier than it previously reported. overnight federal regulators released the updated timetable gm just submitted explain what the company knew and when. the company said it found the problem with the ignition switch in 2001 during preproduction with the ion. and in 2003 be problems linked to the car stalling. gm said it only became aware of previous issues in 2004 . last month gm recalled more than 1.5 million older model compact cars. the company asked consumers to avoid heavy key chains because they could cause the ignition switches to shut off suddenly, disabling power steering , making brakes less effective and des arming the air bags . the problem is linked to 12 deaths. why the revised timetable that suggests concerns popped up earlier than first reported? gm says it's now conducting a more in-depth analysis and stress they're cooperating fully with federal regulators. a spokesman said "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." the justice department is looking into whether gm may have violated a federal law that requires car makers to report problems to the government promptly. natalie, congress is also planning hearings.

>> gabe gutierrez in detroit for us. thank you, gabe.