Mary Barra, GM CEO, Gets Grilled By Congress Over Defective Ignition SwitchesBy: Val Powell - June 19, 2014
On Wednesday, General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra was asked to clarify the steps that General Motors is taking to resolve the car safety crisis.
General Motors was forced to recall about 20 million vehicles due to defective ignition switches that caused deaths and injuries.
Barra already faced the House Energy and Commerce Committee back in April, and was again questioned on Wednesday. It was revealed that top executives of General Motors were not alerted for years about the faulty ignition switches of their vehicles. The company was criticized for having a “culture of secrecy” and members said that not knowing about the issue does not absolve them of their responsibilities to their customers.
Lawmakers also said that General Motors did not act with a sense of urgency, even as the injuries and accidents related to faulty ignition switches continued to climb. According to reports, the defective ignition caused at least 13 deaths and 54 accidents.
Barra said that victims who suffered physical injury will be compensated. Relatives of victims who died will also be receiving compensation. She also said that there is no maximum amount for the compensation, but she has no idea of how much the victims will be getting.
“I want this terrible experience permanently etched in our collective memories,” Barra said addressing the congressional committee. “This isn’t just another business challenge. This is a tragic problem that never should have happened. And it must never happen again,” she said.
Barra outlined the steps that General Motors is taking in order to resolve the issue. So far, the company has reportedly fired 15 employees. They will also be restructuring the quality control and safety process for vehicles. Furthermore, they hired a mediation expert and attorney in order to help in administering the compensation fund for victims and their families.
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