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GM’s Mary Barra to Re-Testify This Week

Tina Robinson2 years ago

General Motor’s CEO Mary Barra is headed to Washington later this week for a second round of hearings before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee as part of an investigation into the ignition switch recall. On Monday, the Committee released a memo outlining the investigation to-date and possible areas of questioning for Wednesday’s hearing.

More About the House’s GM Investigation

Barra testified before the House Committee on April 1 after investigations into the ignition switch recall had revealed the automaker delayed recalling the vehicles for over a decade. During her testimony, Barra repeatedly declined to answer many questions, citing an ongoing internal investigation conducted by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas. That investigation was formerly concluded on June 5 when Valukas presented federal regulators and Congress with a 315-page report detailing years of incompetence and inaction on the part of GM employees.

Now Barra, along with Valukas, are being asked to testify and answer further questions that have been raised. A memo released today outlines the following questions as issues that could possibly be examined at Wednesday’s hearing:

  • Is the Valukas Report the end of GM’s internal investigation of the facts related to the ignition switch recall?
  • Does GM believe that the kinds of systemic failure and mistakes that contributed to the failure to issue a timely recall of the Cobalt and Ion ignition switches may have affected other investigations and recalls?
  • How did the culture and systemic problems that are identified in the Valukas report develop at GM? What must be done to address these problems and when will GM know if they have been successfully fixed?

The Valukas Report

The Valukas report provided crucial answers into how and why it took GM over a decade to recognize the potentially deadly defect in 2.6 million older compact vehicles. While the report absolved GM of any cover-up and Barra of any prior knowledge of the problem, the document illustrated years of inaction by various GM employees. According to the House memo, “[t]he Committee expects to purse answers to these questions, and examine the information set forth in the Valukas report related to these questions.”

GM announced shortly after the report was released that 15 employees had been fired and five more given unspecified disciplinary action.

GM Compensation Fund

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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