(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released the following statement on reports the Justice Department has identified criminal wrongdoing in General Motors’ (GM) failure to disclose its deadly ignition switch defect:
“GM's punishment should fit its historic crimes. The government must hold GM criminally accountable, including both corporate and individual convictions, with specific felony pleas of guilty and high fines for its apparent unconscionable crimes. Not only did GM cause an unspeakable toll of death and damage - killing at least 104 innocent drivers and injuring many more - but heightened the harm by hiding and covering up the car defect that it knew to be lethal. The government must press for aggressive criminal charges and a complete admission of guilt, particularly for coverup and concealment - deterring such abhorrent wrongdoing in the future and vindicating the losses of loved ones and victims.
“One strong message should be to strengthen the authorities of watchdogs so they can prevent, not just punish, such wrongdoing. My hope is also that criminal convictions may open the courthouse door to civil action by GM victims seeking justice against the automaker, despite GM's hiding behind a liability shield procured through apparent fraud.”