Blumenthal: GM is ‘failing to protect’ consumers

Anne Wernikoff

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for an investigation into General Motors (GM) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) failure to report a major defect in cars.

“Repeated failure to detect and stop this potentially lethal defect shows that federal safety watchdogs need a wake up,” Blumenthal said Sunday. “An investigation is clearly warranted to establish why the safety watchdogs failed to act.”

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Blumenthal’s statement came Sunday, after a report that 13 deaths have been linked to GM cars turning off while being driven. He said 1.6 million cars have now been recalled but that NHTSA initially failed to report the problem.

“Even as more than 260 complaints were made about GM cars dangerously turning off, NHTSA inexplicably failed to spot a trend that apparently caused at least 13 deaths and eventually required massive safety recalls,” Blumenthal said. “The focus on federal regulatory inaction does not excuse GM for apparently failing to protect its consumers from fatal known defects – and it should be held accountable.”

The NHTSA are tasked with ensuring defective cars are taken off the road. Blumenthal said he wants to know why the federal agency didn’t act sooner in this instance.

Blumenthal serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.