Transportation Report

Blumenthal slams GM for failing to replace ignition switches

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said it was “unacceptable” that General Motors (GM) still hasn’t given dealerships the replacement part needed to fix faulty ignition switches.

“Having failed to deliver new ignition switches to dealers last week as promised, GM CEO Mary Barra says now they’ll be there as soon as possible,” Blumenthal said. “That vague assurance is unacceptable when dangerously defective cars remain on the road and GM fails to provide adequate warning.” 


American Airlines receives more Twitter bomb threats

American Airlines is receiving more bomb threat tweets after the arrest of a Dutch teenager who was reported by the airline for sending a terrorist threat via Twitter, The Washington Post reports

The teenager, who was arrested by police in the Netherlands, was a 14-year-old girl who tweeted to American on Sunday "Hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.” 

American Airlines responded to the tweet by saying it was contacting law enforcement officials, and Dutch police tweeted on Monday that they had arrested the girl. 

The incident has spawned multiple copycats, according to the Post report.  


US Air: Porn tweet was ‘honest mistake’

A pornographic tweet that was sent from the US Airways’ was an “honest mistake,” the New York Daily News reports an official said with the company said this week. 

US Air has come under fire for including a picture of a naked woman using a model airplane as a sex toy in a tweet that was sent to a passenger who was complaining about flights on Monday. 

The airline quickly deleted the tweet and followed it up with a subsequent message apologizing for sending out the inappropriate image. 


DOT chief to visit Georgia, Alabama

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is scheduled to visit Georgia and Alabama on Wednesday as he continues his eight-state bus tour to push Congress to approve a new round of infrastructure funding. 

Foxx is making the sixth, seventh and eight stops on his “Invest in America” bus in Atlanta, Birmingham and Anniston, Ala. The bus trip comes as the transportation department announced this week that it was moving up its projected bankruptcy date for the trust fund that is used to pay for road and transit projects to the end of August. 

The DOT’s Highway Trust Fund had previously been forecasted to run out of money in September. 


GM CEO touts 'meaningful progress' in changing company culture

General Motors CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday that the company was more focused on safety than it has been in recent years, despite intense criticism of its handling of widespread recalls in recent months. 

GM has come under fire for allegedly purposely delaying recalling 1.6 million cars that had a dangerous ignition switch flaw because it did not want to pay for repairs. 

Barra said in a speech at the at the New York International Auto Show on Tuesday that the company is “more focused on quality and doing what is right for the customer than at any time in my 33 years with the company,” despite the recall criticism. 


Missing plane search enters ‘yet another phase’

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has entered “yet another phase” as officials search the deep waters of the southern Indian Ocean for the jetliner that vanished over a month, officials said Tuesday.

Malaysia’s Acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein said in a news conference that officials were continuing to look for remnants of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, despite the fact that it has been almost five weeks since the jet was last seen by air traffic controllers.

“It has been 39 days since MH370 went missing,” Hishammuddin said. “We have now entered a new phase for the search operations expanding into deep ocean search with deployment of the Bluefin - 21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AVU). As stated by the Joint Agency Coordinating Center in Perth earlier today, there are 9 military aircraft, 2 civil aircrafts and 11 ships which haven assigned to search for MH370.”