Apr 03 2014
When did General Motors know about fatal defects in their cars and why did it wait so long to do anything about it? Those are some of the questions that members of Congress asked GM CEO Mary Barra this week in a series of public hearings.
To date, at least thirteen people have been killed over the past few years, tied to faulty ignition switches as well as air bags that failed to deploy in GM cars like the Chevy Cobalt and the Saturn Ion. Fixing the ignition switches would have cost GM less than a dollar per vehicle.
While Barra admitted that GM has both legal and moral obligations to the families of the victims, she maintained that since GM filed bankruptcy in 2009 and is actually considered a new company now, they are not legally responsible for accidents prior to that.
Ms. Barra acknowledged the current need to recall about 2.6 million GM vehicles but assured members of the Senate subcommittee that they are safe to drive until the parts arrive as long as ignition keys are not weighed down by heavy objects on the same ring.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also under scrutiny to oversee GM’s product defects.
GUEST: Rosemary Shahan, President of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
Visit www.carconsumers.org for more information.