Barra to Testify Before House Oversight Committee On April 1
NHTSA Acting Administrator has also been called upon to testify regarding the ongoing GM recall nightmare.
On April Fools Day, Mary Barra and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator David Friedman will testify before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee during an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing.
Auto Blog reminds us that committee chair Fred Upton (R-MI) was also involved in the 2000 Ford-Firestone rollover investigation. In that infamous case, faulty Firestone tires on Ford Explorers (as well as Mercury and Mazda vehicles) increased the likelihood of a rollover and are estimated to have caused more than 250 deaths and 3,000 serious injuries.
The committee will call Barra to testify in order to determine how much General Motors knew about the ignition switch problem that has been cited as a primary factor in 13 deaths, and how long they had this information before appropriate action was taken. It has been alleged that GM has been aware of the problem affecting more than 1.3 million vehicles for as long as a decade, though the recall was only issued a little over a month ago.
The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee has also asked the NHTSA’s David Friedman to attend in order to address criticism that the NHTSA was too lax in forcing GM to address the issues.
“We look forward to hearing from both Mary Barra and Administrator Friedman. Their testimony is critical to understanding what the company and NHTSA knew about the safety problems, when they knew it, and what was done about it,” said full committee Chairman Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) in a statement. “The problems originated long before Barra and Friedman took the helms of their respective organizations, but their actions and input now, as our investigation proceeds, will be essential to getting answers about what went wrong. We want to know if this tragedy could have been prevented and what can be done to ensure the loss of life due to safety failures like this don’t happen again.”
For more information on the hearing, potential witnesses, and the latest on GM’s recall nightmare, stay tuned to The News Wheel.