Senator Richard Blumenthal asked the Department of Justice to force the US automaker General Motors to set up a compensation fund for the customers that have been affected by the automaker’s faulty ignition switches.
At the beginning of this week pressure has started to build around GM, which might see itself forced to establish a compensation fund and get off the road 1.6 million of its recalled vehicles.
“I urge that DOJ require that GM establish a fund to fully compensate consumers who suffered injury, death or damage” stemming from the malfunctioning ignition switches, wrote Senator Richard Blumenthal in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the top U.S. law enforcement official.
It’s been more than 10 years since the first issues with the faulty switches came to light, but recalls only started last month. The faulty switches can cause safety equipment and engines to shut down unexpectedly.
Yesterday, March 24, two of the automaker’s customers asked a Texas federal judge to force GM to inform and advise the rest of the customers to immediately stop driving the recalled vehicles, among which the 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, until all the repairs are made and the cars become safe.
Still, the US giant claims that the vehicles are safe if the drivers use only the ignition key and get rid of the extra items or fobs which might cause the ignition switch to slip from the ‘run’ position.
On April 1 the House Energy and Commerce panel will begin the congressional hearings into the automaker’s actions and the federal regulators’ performance.