Claire McCaskill, the US Senator in charge of the Senate subcommittee on consumer protection and product safety that questioned GM’s CEO Mary Barra last week said that if the company is found liable – it should even face criminal charges.
Talking about the way General Motors handled the recall about defective ignition switches – linked so far to over 30 crashes and 13 deaths, McCaskill said that most importantly the company should assume responsibility and compensate the victims’ families.
“You know we had the Citizens United case where our Supreme Court said corporations are people … but if in fact they are people, there needs to be some criminal accountability depending on what the facts of the investigation show,” McCaskill, a Democrat, said. “I know the Justice Department is taking a hard look at this.”
“Now it’s time for them to come clean, be transparent and most of all make all victims whole no matter when this deadly ignition caused heartbreak in their families,” she added in an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” show.
GM’s CEO – the first female in the industry assuming the role – was questioned last week about the way her company handled the recall about the defective ignition switch – which now amounts to 2.6 million people and was found to have been known about as far back as 2001.