Senate panel to question Delphi CEO on GM ignition switch image

The 2.6 million cars equipped with a defective switch that were linked to at least 13 deaths prompted public outrage, numerous lawsuits and intense federal scrutiny after GM was found to have delayed their recall by at least a decade.

GM’s story regarding the ignition switch mishandling is well known by now – and just referring to the federal investigations by the US Congress, the latest hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 17.

There, after GM CEO Mary Barra already appeared to testify on several occasions, the Senate Commerce subcommittee will also question several other key “players” in the ongoing investigation. Barra will be present, as always, while the US Senate panel also called on the witness stand the company’s chief counsel Michael Milliken. The list of high-ranking officials goes on with Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney in charge of the victims’ compensation fund recently established and Anton Valukas, who headed GM’s own internal investigation on the debacle.

Still, by far the most interesting witness to be heard will be a top executive from another company – Rodney O’Neal, the CEO of Delphi Automotive Plc, the auto parts maker tasked with the production of the defective ignition switch. This is the first appearance of any official from the auto parts manufacturer – which has been collaborating with the federal investigators on the matter.

Via Reuters