(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released the following statement in response to General Motors’ rollout of the Valukas report.
“The GM public relations campaign is pitching this report as an independent review. In truth, it seems like the best report money can buy. It absolves upper management, denies deliberate wrongdoing, and dismisses corporate culpability.
“By firing fifteen people and committing definitively to establish a compensation fund, GM has taken more steps than it has been willing to do in the past, but today’s public relations campaign continues to leave critical questions unanswered. Most significantly, CEO Mary Barra could not answer why the defective ignition switch was changed but its number was kept the same.
“Before accepting GM’s self-serving explanation that the cause was a failure of corporate silos or culture, rather than deliberate wrongdoing, I believe that federal investigators and law enforcement agencies must conduct an independent inquiry into GM’s conduct. The Department of Justice must pursue a timely, vigorous criminal investigation. Congress must continue its inquiry, aggressively and promptly. And NHTSA must oversee the recall process to ensure more drivers are not harmed.
“Moreover, GM has yet to come clean about why it disagrees with widespread reports that their defect has led to more than 13 deaths and the company has yet to set an amount for the compensation fund. This morning’s underwhelming response makes the Feinberg process all the more important to ensure that all victims are both acknowledged and compensated. GM can show real good faith by revealing all its sealed settlements, disclosing all documents, and making available all the officials, past and present, who have relevant knowledge. The new GM must acknowledge moral and legal responsibility to the victims and their families.”