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Senator Blumenthal Urges Support for Car Safety Legislation

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

As General Motors Chief Officer Mary Barra testified today before a Senate committee investigating the company’s ignition switch recall, one Senator appealed to Barra for support of his proposed Early Warning Reporting legislation.

Blumenthal Proposes Car Safety Legislation

A week ago, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) proposed legislation that would improve upon the Early Warning Reporting System by requiring automakers to submit accident reports and other records to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), who would then make those documents available to the public in a user-friendly manner.

Today, Blumenthal prodded by Barra and acting administrator of NHTSA, David Friedman, to support his efforts to pass legislation. Barra declined to voice support for the proposed law, saying that she would need to review the legislation before committing to it publicly. Friedman offered a similarly chilly response, offering that he was “open to discussion.”

Should Recalled Vehicles Be Driven?

Another key focus of Blumenthal’s questioning was if the recalled GM vehicles are safe to drive. In a letter written to Attorney General Eric Holder last week, Blumenthal urged the Justice Department to ensure consumers are aware of the risks involved in operating the recalled vehicles prior to repairs being made.

Displaying a poster of the recall notice sent to consumers, Blumenthal said, “It says the risk increases if you key chain is carrying added weight… or your vehicle experiences rough road conditions or other jarring or impact-related events.” He wanted to know if Barra would allow her own children to drive a Cobalt.

Barra replied, “I would allow my son if he had only the ignition key.” She also noted that customers uncomfortable driving the recalled vehicles can request a free loaner vehicle.

Blumenthal concluded, “I would respectfully suggest that you advise customers to get loaners instead of driving these cars.”


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