WASHINGTON - A U.S. senator said Thursday that General Motors (IW 500/5) had still not come clean over hiding a deadly ignition problem, and said he wanted a criminal investigation of the automaker.
Senator Richard Blumenthal said GM's summary of an internal report on the problem, which GM says caused 13 deaths, was hardly independent and "leaves really critical questions unanswered."
It's "the best report money can buy. It absolves upper management," Blumenthal told reporters after GM chief executive Mary Barra released the results of the probe by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas.
The report is "a failure to come clean and acknowledge full responsibility," he said.
Barra called the Valukas report "thorough" and done with "complete independence."
She said it found "a pattern of incompetence and neglect" in GM, which only took action on the faulty ignition problem early this year, after some employees knew about it for 11 years, recalling 2.6 million cars.
Barra said the company had fired 15 mostly senior executives over the case, but that she and other top management were cleared, and that there was "no conspiracy by the corporation to cover up facts."
Blumenthal, though, said GM has not explained the actions of company lawyers who may have known of the ignition risks, nor why the company says only 13 people died from ignition-related accidents, when other investigators put the toll higher.
"GM has yet to come clean," said the Connecticut Democrat. "Clearly this (investigation) is not independent or completely objective."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014