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Congress Acknowledges Meeting with Suspended GM Engineer

Destiny Baker3 years ago

The New York Times and Detroit Free Press report that the House Energy and Commerce Committee has met with suspended General Motors (GM) engineer Raymond DeGiorgio as part of their investigation into GM's ignition switch recall.

About the Congressional Interviews

A spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed Friday that staff investigators met with DeGiorgio and other GM employees as part of an ongoing investigation into the automakers recall of 2.6 million vehicles equipped with a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to atleast 13 deaths.

DeGiorgio was suspended with pay by GM in April after documents suggested that he had committed perjury during a 2013 deposition. The deposition was conducted as part of a lawsuit filed against GM by the family of a Georgia woman killed in a crash involving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt.

During the deposition, DeGiorgio testified that he was unaware of any defects in the vehicle and that if any changes were made to the parts of the vehicles, he did not authorize them. However, documents presented to Congress showed that DeGiorgio had signed off on a redesign for the faulty ignition switch in 2006.  

During his interview with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, DeGiorgio told investigators that he had simply forgotten about the ignition switch changes.

Additional documents show that the part number for the faulty switch was not changed following the redesign, and the redesign was never reported to federal regulators.

More Congressional Hearings on the Way?

Spokesperson Charlotte Baker stated that the committee will continue interviews of current and former GM employees as part of their investigation.

The Detroit Free Press states that these types of interviews are often a precursor to congressional hearings.

Both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection held hearings concerning the ignition switch recall in early April. Members of the committees question GM CEO Mary Barra and acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) David Friedman.

With an internal report by U.S. Attorney Anton Valukes expected to be released in upcoming weeks, it is possible that both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection may have additional questions for Mary Barra and other senior GM officials.

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