Markey Statement on GM Settlement with Department of Transportation

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Markey Statement on GM Settlement with Department of Transportation

Friday, May 16, 2014

In wake of GM recall, Senators Markey and Blumenthal introduced legislation to increase transparency and earlier reporting of auto defects

Washington (May 16, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following statement after the federal government announced it had reached a settlement with GM after a defect in the ignition switch of its Chevy Cobalt vehicles led to the deaths of at least 13 people. 

“This settlement takes some important steps, including ensuring GM is quicker to call for recalls and shares information with the federal government about its internal investigations into possible defects. But we also need to require all automakers report more information about possible defects earlier and for the Transportation Department to publish the materials it receives so that public receives true ‘early warnings’ about possible deadly defects.  I will continue to work with Senator Blumenthal and all of my Congressional colleagues to get legislation passed that can help ensure tragedies like this never happen again. 

“A penalty of $35 million is a parking ticket in comparison to the toll this defect has taken on the lives of America’s families. We need to increase the statutory caps for civil liability settlements to ensure that auto manufacturers know they will be held fully and fiscally accountable if they do not report safety issues in their vehicles in a timely and responsible manner.” 

Last month, Senators Markey and Blumenthal introduced S. 2151, The Early Warning Reporting Act, legislation that would require more information to be reported to the public Early Warning Reporting database when auto manufacturers first become aware of incidents involving fatalities. 

More information about Senator Markey’s leadership on the GM recall can be found HERE.