The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has set April 1 for its hearing into General Motors' ongoing recall of roughly 1.6 million cars over faulty ignition switches. Both GM CEO Mary Barra and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman will testify.

The hearing's announcement states: "Their testimony is critical to understanding what the company and NHTSA knew about the safety problems, when they knew it, and what was done about it." It admits that the problems leading to the recall predate both Barra and Friedman taking their leadership positions, but it claims they are the best people to explain what went wrong. The committee is chaired by US Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) who was also part of the federal investigation of the Ford-Firestone rollovers in 2000.

GM has been fighting poor public perception after it came out that it allegedly knew about the flaw for years prior to the recall. In a press conference earlier this week, Barra said that she learned about the investigation into the switches in late December of 2013, and found out a repair would be necessary on January 31. The faulty part has been linked to 31 crashes and 12 deaths. NHTSA has also been criticized for not forcing action sooner.

A GM spokesperson told Automotive News that Barra "welcomes the opportunity to participate in the hearing as part of GM's effort to cooperate with Congress and other authorities." She also said during the press conference that she would be willing to testify. Scroll down to read the US House Energy and Commerce Committee entire announcement.
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GM CEO Mary Barra and Lead Federal Vehicle Safety Official Expected to Testify April 1

March 20, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – Bipartisan House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today announced that General Motors Company CEO Mary Barra will testify at an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. The committee has also invited National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman to testify on the same day.

"We look forward to hearing from both Mary Barra and Administrator Friedman. Their testimony is critical to understanding what the company and NHTSA knew about the safety problems, when they knew it, and what was done about it," said full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). "The problems originated long before Barra and Friedman took the helms of their respective organizations, but their actions and input now, as our investigation proceeds, will be essential to getting answers about what went wrong. We want to know if this tragedy could have been prevented and what can be done to ensure the loss of life due to safety failures like this don't happen again."

"I look forward to this hearing so we can find out from GM and NHTSA how this happened and why these dangerous vehicles were not fixed in a timely fashion," said full committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-CO).

Additional hearing details, the Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

BACKGROUND: The committee has opened a bipartisan investigation into the General Motors Company's (GM) and NHTSA's response to consumer complaints related to stalling, airbag non-deployment, and ignition switch problems. GM announced a recall in February covering over 1.6 million vehicles worldwide to correct the problems, but reports indicate drivers first complained of the safety defects over 10 years ago. The company has stated that the defects may have been linked to 31 frontal crashes and a dozen fatalities. Committee staff has now been briefed by both NHTSA and GM on the recalls, and currently awaits production of the documents and information requested last week.


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  • 26 Comments
      Love Great Danes
      • 9 Months Ago
      I can't imagine the pressure she is under. No thank you!
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 9 Months Ago
      A newly promoted CEO has to testify about long-running corporate wrongdoing, huh? Anyone remember the 2005 remake of Fun with Dick and Jane? Haha!
      Ryan
      • 9 Months Ago
      I love that she has this "what in the hell did I get myself into" look on her face. I am sure the pay is pretty good but man did she ever inherit a lot of headaches.
      dohc73
      • 9 Months Ago
      Nice GM. Finally put a woman in charge, then promptly line her up in front of the firing squad a few months later. And they thought gender inequality was coming to an end. What a way to mask it.
      ebonys57
      • 9 Months Ago
      screw Garbage Motors,let them burn.
        That Guy
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ebonys57
        Let them burn? Why are you bringing Ford into this?
      churchmotor
      • 9 Months Ago
      And how many millions and millions and millions per year are the corrupt GM CEO milking the Tax payers for to hide these known defects.
        rlog100
        • 9 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        So now you've resorted to bold face easily debunked lies to keep the outrage stoked. Hmmmm.
        richard
        • 9 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        Millions and millions and millions and millions and....
        Tariff The Imports
        • 9 Months Ago
        @churchmotor
        I'm surprised you're not blaming the UAW for that too.
      DesignWhuuu
      • 9 Months Ago
      How long until GM straight up moves hq to China and operations to Africa, way to go FED
      Wetstuff
      • 9 Months Ago
      The easiest way for congress to say; "We're doing something!" ...without really doing it, is to call forward people who probably legitimately 'had nothing directly to do with the problem'. And even I would be happy to testify under oath if I was one of those people... 'particularly' if I was the new boss. More charades from Congress. Rather, they should subpoena memos from Legal-to-Mgmt that say something to the effect; "These are not the kind of people with the resources to get us into court." Jim
      Jake
      • 9 Months Ago
      Take the corporate jet!
      Roger Smith
      • 9 Months Ago
      30 years with them,she even say no more crappy cars and then a video felling sad for the lost of people,Great let see what she said on court!
      That Guy
      • 9 Months Ago
      I hope she does the right thing and tells the government to go intercourse themselves.
      SethG
      • 9 Months Ago
      These things are just an opportunity for politicians to grandstand in front of the TV cameras. If they were seriously interested in getting to the bottom of this they would subpoena the handful of people involved in GMs investigations and recall decision making process. The person who became CEO in the last few months is a nice target but is largely irrelevant when trying to understand what happened a decade ago.
        dadslife83
        • 9 Months Ago
        @SethG
        Years ago I would said "Let's replace them all!" Since then I've come to realize that is a futile gesture. You see, when we elect someone new the junior senator is trained "in the ways we do things here" by a senior member. As a result the old ways are never lost. And since everyone in congress is a newbie, who are their heros, heros they really have access to? Organized chaos ensues. Holding new GM to the fire for the follies of old GM is a big mistake.
        Larry Litmanen
        • 9 Months Ago
        @SethG
        She is a GM lifer, she has been an executive for years. She even worked in safely i believe at one point. If anyone KNOWS it is her. But i agree, they need to subpoena these people.
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