Blumenthal, Markey Statement on GM Compensation Fund Approval of 100th Death Claim Related to Faulty Ignition Switches

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

 May 12, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement on General Motors’ (GM) compensation fund’s approval of the 100th death claim related to faulty ignition switches:

“With today’s grim milestone, we now know that at least 100 people have lost their lives because GM made defective cars and lied about them and the Transportation Department failed to aggressively investigate. For years, families like the Averills in Connecticut and many others across the country were left without answers as they grieved for loved ones who died in car accidents. What caused the accident? Why did the airbags fail to deploy? All the while, GM knew, and NHTSA should have known. Sadly, we may never know the full extent of the injuries and deaths attributable to GM’s defective, deadly ignition switch. But these families deserve justice. Despite a recent ruling that GM is protected from liabilities due to a bankruptcy shield, we are committed to ensuring that justice is granted for all victims and their families.

“We will be reintroducing legislation in the coming weeks to ensure auto manufacturers provide more information to NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting system about incidents involving fatalities. This information should be published by NHTSA in a publicly available, searchable and user-friendly format so that consumers and independent safety experts can evaluate potential safety defects themselves. We also propose to lift the abysmally low $35 million cap the safety agency faces when fining automakers for egregious violations of the safety act, like the GM ignition switch.”