In wake of recall, Sens. Markey & Blumenthal introduced legislation to ensure transparency, more early reporting to prevent auto injuries, fatalities


Boston (April 16, 2014) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, reacted to news today that GM had designed and rejected a safer ignition switch in 2001, years before it began using the original safer design in 2006 after the company finally addressed the faulty ignition switch defect that has now been linked to 13 deaths. Last month, Senators Markey and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced S. 2151, The Early Warning Reporting Act, legislation that would require more information to be reported to the public Early Warning Reporting database when auto manufacturers first become aware of incidents involving fatalities. 


“This latest disclosure shows that GM’s culture appears to have been driven by costs over consumer safety, which continues today by refusing to tell drivers to stop operating its defective vehicles until they're fixed. This so-called new GM has the same old values of profits over people that has endangered lives and caused grief to American families.”


In February, Senator Markey asked NHTSA to use its authority to require companies to submit accident reports and other documents to NHTSA’S public early warming reporting database when they become aware of fatalities involving their vehicles. He also requested the documents that GM provided to the NHTSA about fatal accidents that may be related to this defect, and other documents related to how NHTSA officials evaluated this defect when it became aware of it.


During House Energy and Commerce Committee consideration of a 2010 automobile safety bill, a version of a then-Rep. Markey-authored amendment was included that would have made more information about fatalities public in the Early Warning Reporting database. The bill passed Committee but was not enacted.