General Motors CEO Questioned by an Angry Senate Committee

By: Zack Hendon | Posted on: April 3, 2014 5:51 pm

GM CEO, Mary Barra, faced a second day of intense questioning regarding the malfunctioning ignition switches that her company failed to address in 2005. The faulty ignitions are being blamed for the deaths of 13 drivers who had auto accidents in affected GM vehicles.

Senator Claire McCaskill chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection accused Mary Barra and General Motors (GM) of fostering a “culture of cover-up.” Barra declined to answer questions related to why GM took so long to start a recall. Documents released recently pointed to GM employees having knowledge of the ignition switch issue as early as 2001.

Pointed questioning by Senator McCaskill focused on the April 2013 deposition of Ray DeGiogio, a GM switch engineer. In his deposition, DeGiogio testified that he had not signed off on any changes to the ignition; however, documents reveal that he did. DeGiogio was deposed in connection to a 2013 case of a Georgia woman who was killed in an auto accident in a Chevrolet Cobalt.

General Motors has been the subject of a number of products liability lawsuits including the side-saddle gas tank cases prior to its bankruptcy filing and reorganization as the “new” GM. In 1993, an Atlanta jury ordered GM to pay $4.2 million in compensatory damages and $101 million in punitive damages in Moseley v. General Motors Corp. This was the largest verdict in Georgia history at the time. The allegation in that lawsuit was that GM had known that the design of the side saddle tanks was dangerous and GM knew about it for years but did not disclose it and failed to fix it. The Court of Appeals reversed this jury verdict and the case was subsequently settled.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident or wreck in the greater Atlanta area, whether due to a manufacturer’s defect such as a faulty GM ignition switch or due to a negligent driver, please contact the Hendon Law Firm to discuss your options, tel.: 770-284-3737 for help.