Missouri’s senior senator will lead a closer look at problems with a recalled General Motors vehicle. Senator Claire McCaskill will chair a Consumer Protection subcommittee hearing Wednesday examining the responses of General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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.
“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 a recall of about 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 aims to find 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.