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GM’s Barra Dodges Questions, Cites Ongoing Investigation

Tina Robinson2 years ago

Lawmakers looked to get to the bottom of why it took so long for General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall 2.5 million vehicles with ignition switches known to be defective.

“That’s Part of the Investigation.”

As GM CEO Mary Barra testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this afternoon, one answer was heard repeatedly: “That’s part of the investigation.”

Although Barra opened her statements to Congress by expressing regret and apologizing for the automaker’s actions that led to at least 13 deaths, Barra was reluctant to divulge information to the committee. When asked questions ranging from the timeline of events to who authorized the defective switches, Barra cited an ongoing investigation to find out those answers.

Other Highlights of Barra’s Testimony

An NPR report provided the following highlights from today's testimony:

  • U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) asked Barra about ignition switches not meeting GM specifications. Barra noted a difference between meeting specifications and “being defective.” When asked if the ignition switch was acceptable, Barra stated, “As we clearly know today it’s not.”
  • Rep. DeGette (D-Co.) asked questions about documents that GM provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about when GM became aware of the defective switches. Barra said that an ongoing investigation is still trying to determine the timeline of events.
  • Barra testified that she does not know the name of the person who made the decision not to give redesigned switches a new part number but called it an “unacceptable practice.”
  • Barra also announced that GM has hired the services of Kenneth Feinberg who is a compensation expert to help determine how the automaker should respond to the families of victims.

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