McCaskill: GM should be held accountable

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocratic Homeland Security members request additional DHS nominee testimony Senate panel delays vote on Trump’s Homeland Security pick Steve Israel: ‘We had a better time at the DMZ than we’re going to have tonight’ MORE (D-Mo.) wants General Motors to come clean about and be held accountable for faulty parts that led to car crashes and deaths.

“I think this is a real moment of truth for General Motors,” McCaskill said Sunday during an episode of ABC’s “This Week.”

During last week’s Senate Commerce hearing, McCaskill pushed General Motors chief executive Mary Barra for answers on when the information about the faulty car parts first came to light.

“That’s what Mary Barra refused to talk about,” McCaskill said.

Barra refused to answer the questions due to a pending company investigation, but McCaskill asked her to commit to returning to the committee once the investigation has been completed.

On Sunday, McCaskill pointed to court documents showing that engineers within the company recognized the danger in the faulty parts and replaced those parts without altering the part’s number to indicate that the part had been changed.

“There’s no reason to keep the same part number unless you’re trying to hide the fact that you’ve got a defective switch,” she said.

McCaskill repeated her questions about how long the company’s executives knew about the faulty parts after the engineers had discovered the problem.

“What were they doing for all those months? Why didn’t they report this to federal regulators?” she asked.

When asked if the company should face penalties, McCaskill brought up the Citizens United case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that corporate political donations should have the same first amendment protections as individuals’ political donations.

“If in fact [corporations] are people, then there needs to be some criminal accountability depending on what the facts of the situation show,” McCaskill said.