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General Motors Report Spurs Lawmakers to Call for Action

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

General Motors released the results of a three-month-long investigation into the delayed ignition recall today. Those results, lawmakers and safety advocates say, highlight a need for tougher regulations.

Lawmakers Call for Action

As lawmakers and safety regulators sift through the 300-page report provided by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas, many are taking the opportunity to call for tougher auto regulations, according to USA Today.

“This report reveals GM recognizes it must take the difficult but important initial steps to clean up a culture of ineptitude,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “But we need more than an accounting of past mistakes; we need to ensure accountability an that permanent measures are put in place to prevent future deaths.”

Markey has called for a law which would require automakers to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about possible defects as soon as they are detected. Consumer Union is additional urging Congress to pass a bill that would increase NHTSA’s budget.

A recently proposed bill called the Grow America Act also proposes raising the maximum fine for delayed action from $35 million to $300 million.

Mixed Reactions to GM Report

The GM report has garnered mixed reactions around the industry. CEO Mary Barra called the report “enormously painful” when presenting the findings to 1,200 GM employees at a town hall meeting this morning. U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) echoed that sentiment in a statement saying she was “deeply troubled” by the report.

DeGette has said she will make sure that victims of the defective switches are properly compensated. GM has linked 13 deaths to the switches, but that number only includes front seat passengers in certain situations. Both NHTSA and independent research has indicated the actual number of victims to be higher.

Barra and GM President Dan Amman confirmed today that those who were seriously injured or lost a loved one because of the defect would be compensated. GM hired attorney Ken Feinberg in April to assist the automaker in exploring options for a GM compensation fund. Feinberg’s recommendations are expected later this month. Amman noted that who was eligible and how much was entirely at the discretion of Feinberg. 

Thomas J. Henry is representing more than 1,000 GM recall victims across the United States and has been investigating injuries and deaths linked to the recall since day one. The firm launched a nationwide media investigation into the recall in April, which brought forth thousands of affected individuals who had information critical to the investigation – information that the firm has handed over to federal agencies also investigating GM’s sluggish response the recall. As more and more individuals have flocked to Thomas J. Henry for representation, the firm has continued to push GM for a victim settlement fund. The firm has had several talks with GM’s victim compensation expert Ken Feinberg regarding appropriate victim compensation for the thousands affected by a fatal design flaw in ignition switches which left numerous dead and countless others seriously injured.


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