• Share
  • Read Later
The feds came down hard against the nation's top automaker, targeting General Motors' controversial full-size pickup. Transportation Secretary Federico Pena announced today that C and K series models of that truck made from 1973 to 1987 pose an unreasonable safety risk. The location of the gas tank outside of the main-body rails makes the vehicles vulnerable to fires in side-impact collisions, officials say. The finding could lead to a government-ordered recall later this year of the 4.5 to 6.3 million such vehicles that are on the road, which could cost $1 billion. The government action is also a supremely bad p.r. for the company, which forced NBC to back down on the techniques used in their story that alleged just such flaws in the trucks' design. "It's a big legal headache for GM," says TIME Detroit reporter Joseph R. Szczesny. Aside from the possibility of a recall, "it opens up the possibility of lawsuits against the company." A GM spokesman called Pena's statements an "unfortun