(Washington, DC) – In a letter to General Motors (GM) Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on Barra to make good on a promise she made at an April 2, 2014 Commerce Committee hearing to ground all recalled vehicles if evidence was revealed of continued danger to vehicle owners. Full text of the letter is below and attached.
April 10, 2014
Chief Executive Officer
General Motors Company
P.O Box 33170
Detroit, MI 48232
Dear Ms. Barra:
During the Senate Commerce Committee’s hearing last week on General Motors’ recalled vehicles, you stated in response to my question: “Senator, if I had any data, any incidence where with just the key or the key in the ring there was any risk I would not have – I would ground these vehicles across the country.”
The New York Times this morning represented that on several occasions, GM vehicles have shut down while in motion despite no added weight on the key. I spoke about another such instance on the Senate Floor last week. I am writing today to ask that you keep your promise to me, to the Senate Commerce Committee, and the American people by doing the right thing and grounding these vehicles that are needlessly putting lives at risk.
Currently, the recall notices that GM has issued in no way convey the risk these vehicles pose to their drivers, passengers and other motorists on the road – and their ambiguous wording additionally fails to convey the serious safety threat that exists even under the conditions that you have described.
I am troubled that despite this evidence, and despite your testimony last week, GM seems to be continuing to argue that it has no responsibility to issue stronger warnings. Just yesterday, your attorneys filed a brief in federal court asserting that requests to ground defective vehicles until they can be repaired “exaggerates the magnitude of the risk” and “minimizes the efficient solution.” Rather than looking for more ways to escape liability and responsibility, your company should be doing whatever it can to protect customers.
In your testimony before the Committee, you spoke of GM’s civic responsibility to the country. It is time to live up to that responsibility and make good on your representation before the Committee. Ground these vehicles now, before anyone else is put in danger. Tell your customers not to drive recalled models until they can be repaired, and do everything in your power to ensure that dealers have the parts they need to make these repairs as quickly as possible. As I have done several times before, I urge you to act immediately to protect drivers of recalled vehicles from the serious risk they are facing.
United States Senator