GM coming under fire with massive recall of vehicles

DENVER – The CEO of General Motors is in the hot seat today as Congress seeks answers about a delay in a recall that potentially put dangerous cars on the road.

You can bet GM dealerships across the Denver metro area will be watching today’s developments closely. Details of the hearing are outlined in this memo from the congressional committee leading the investigation.

House investigators will focus on why GM didn’t recall the cars sooner and why federal regulators overlooked the problem.

Since February, General Motors has recalls 2.6 million cars because of a faulty ignition switch linked to more than a dozen deaths.

Congressional investigators say GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ignored or missed warnings for more than a decade.

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette is part of the subcommittee looking for answers.
“We cannot accept the unnecessary loss of more lives and we have to provide answers to the public and to the families impacted by this tragedy,” DeGette said.

According to a key part supplier, before GM gave the design its stamp of approval, testing suggested the part was “still well below GM’s original specifications.”

Despite more than a decade of deadly crashes and complaints, GM didn’t begin recalling the cars until this year.

Regulators never opened a formal investigation, saying it did not find sufficient evidence. Craig Fleishman is representing a Denver mother involved in one of the deadly crashes.

“Some people do not know that this is so egregious that there is a criminal investigation that has been initiated by the justice department against General Motors,” Fleischman said.

General Motors has not said if it will compensate the families of the victims. Under its 2009 bankruptcy, the automaker could be protected from liability. Today’s hearing begins at noon.