GM to start compensating victims

Comment on this story
Copy of General Motors Recall Congress AP In this April 1, 2014 file photo, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., holds up a GM ignition switch while she questions General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

Washington - General Motors expects to begin processing victims' claims related to faulty ignition switches by Aug. 1, Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra will tell the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

In prepared testimony to be delivered to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Barra also will say that Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing the creation of a compensation fund, will have “full authority to establish eligibility criteria for victims and determine compensation levels.”

The defective ignition switches in older model Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other GM models have been linked to at least 13 deaths.

Barra testified to the panel in early April and was unable to answer many of the lawmakers' questions. She promised to come back after the company's internal investigation was completed.

Barra announced the results of that investigation earlier this month.

It outlined a long series of failures by GM personnel to take the ignition switch problem seriously and she promised to improve the company's performance and practices.

For more than a decade, GM engineers and others knew that the ignition switch had design problems. Those problems can cause GM cars to stall, which disables air bags and causes power brakes and power steering systems to malfunction.

Anton Valukas, who headed GM's internal investigation, will also appear before the House panel on Wednesday.

In his prepared testimony, he will say that “GM engineers were fully aware of this problem but did not consider it a safety issue.”

Valukas' testimony portrays that shortcoming as “amazing.”


sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines