Mary Barra, General Motors current CEO testimonial in front of a House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee panel called GM’s response to the ignition switch problems – with faulty cars linked to at least 13 deaths.
While Barra started the hearing by stating, “I am deeply sorry” for the incredibly slow response to the problem, she was quickly interrupted by Representative Henry Waxman, a veteran Democrat who is at the forefront of laws that call for tighter automotive safety.
“Because GM didn’t implement this simple fix when it learned about the problem, at least a dozen people have died in defective GM vehicles,” said Waxman.
While General Motors did issue a recall that went to encompass 1,3 million units, it issued the order this February, although the company had knowledge of the problems that affected some of the cars involved as far back as 2001 – according to GM’s own documents.
“With a two-ton piece of high-velocity machinery, there is zero margin for error; product safety is a life or death issue. But sadly, vehicle safety has fallen short,” added House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, a Republican.
Barra also reiterated the issue came to her attention only on January 31st, after she took over as CEO just a few days ago – and avoided giving any answers as to what went wrong inside the company – saying it’s expecting the result of the pending internal investigation.