McCaskill to Chair Hearing on GM Ignition Switches

Published 03/26 2014 12:42PM

Updated 03/26 2014 12:51PM


General Motors Recall: McCaskill Senate Hearing set for April 2

Senator’s Consumer Protection subcommittee will seek answers on vehicle recall that affected millions

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill will chair a Consumer Protection subcommittee hearing at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, April 2 examining the responses of General Motors (GM) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to the discovery of faulty ignition switches potentially affecting millions of vehicles and the timing of the related recall.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra and NHTSA’s Acting Administrator are expected to testify. Additional witnesses are still being finalized.

“We have to make sure federal regulators have the tools and information they need to prevent life-threatening tragedies for consumers,” said McCaskill, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. “It’s too soon to draw conclusions, but if someone knew about safety issues and failed to take action, we need to hold them accountable and do what we can to prevent these types of catastrophes going forward.”

Last month, GM announced that it was recalling around 1.4 million vehicles to correct a defect with the ignition switches that caused them to move out of position while the car was on, triggering a loss of power and stopping the airbags from deploying properly. This flaw has been linked to numerous accidents and at least 12 deaths during that time.

The hearing will inform McCaskill and other members of the subcommittee on potential legislative solutions to addresses possible problems with NHTSA’s defect investigation and recall processes as the subcommittee looks to craft vehicle safety provisions of the surface transportation authorization due to expire later this year.

McCaskill is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over several federal agencies, including NHTSA.

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