GM accused of playing 'Russian roulette' with drivers' lives
Survivors and families of victims of fatal road accidents connected to defective ignition switches in General Motors' vehicles slammed the automaker Tuesday, as lawmakers tried to piece together why it took the company more than a decade to issue recalls despite repeated red flags.
Samantha Denti, of Toms River, N.J., said at a news conference in Washington D.C. that she and other GM customers were "kept in the dark" about the defect that has been linked to 13 deaths so far.
Denti described multiple instances of when her 2005 Chevy Cobalt went from "45 [m.p.h.] to zero within seconds."
"This car was surely a death trap," she said. "Driving this car was like playing a game of Russian roulette with my safety and that of my friends."
The comments came as GM's new CEO Mary Barra and David Friedman, the head of the acting National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, prepared to testify before Congress later Tuesday.
Both are expected to be pressed by a House committee as to why neither the company nor the safety agency moved to recall millions of small cars with a defective ignition switch, even though GM knew of the problem as early as 2001.
Laura Christian, the mother of Amber Marie Rose, who died in 2005 when the airbag in her Chevy Cobolt didn't deploy after she struck a tree in Maryland, said the victims were just the "cost of doing business" for GM.
"Fighting the problem was cheaper and easier than fixing the problem," Christian said of GM executives.Read more at Al Jazeera America