Senate Dems demand DOJ intervene in GM recall

Several Senate Democrats demanded Friday that the Department of Justice intervene in the General Motors recall of millions of cars because of faulty ignition switches.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) sent Attorney General Eric Holder a letter Friday asking for his help.

“A number of steps by you and the United States Department of Justice clearly would advance the public interest, the rule of law, and rights of victims of GM's wrongdoing,” the senators wrote.

The senators said the DOJ should require GM to establish a fund to compensate victims, ensure consumers are made aware of the defective vehicles and stop GM from denying responsibility in pending civil action cases.

“Given the crucial role the United States government played in creation of the current General Motors Corporation, we believe the federal government has a moral, if not legal, obligation to take all necessary steps to protect innocent consumers,” the letter stated.

During the government restructure of the ailing automaker, the government allowed GM to relinquish liability for faulty cars made before the government takeover. Senators have said because that was part of the deal, it’s the duty of the government to now help victims.

“Like many Americans, we were appalled and astonished by GM’s recent admission that it knew of these disabling defects and their disastrous effects well before the 2009 reorganization,” the senators wrote. “Their deliberate concealment caused continuing death and damage, and it constituted a fraud on the bankruptcy court that approved its reorganization. It also criminally deceived the United States government and the public.”

The DOJ has said it will investigate the situation now that GM has said it knew about the default.