GM chief counsel Michael Millikin and CEO Mary Barra testify during a Senate subcommittee hearing Thursday. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

GM Excoriated for 'Negligence' at Latest Senate Hearing

July 17, 2014
General Motors officials come under attack at a Senate hearing from lawmakers who accuse them of 'gross negligence' that contributed to at least 13 deaths linked to defective cars.

WASHINGTON – Officials of General Motors (IW 500/5) (GM) came under attack at a Senate hearing Thursday from lawmakers who accused them of "gross negligence" that contributed to at least 13 deaths linked to defective GM cars.

While Mary Barra, the embattled CEO of America's largest automaker, returned for another congressional grilling, the man GM hired to determine the compensation for crash victims made his first appearance on Capitol Hill.

Compensation expert Ken Feinberg, who has said GM would offer at least $1 million for each death linked to faulty ignition switches in GM cars, assured lawmakers that the compensation fund had no limits.

"We are authorized to pay as much money as is required," Feinberg told a Senate panel.

But when Barra sought to lay out the steps taken to assure that the information problems do not happen again, Senator Barbara Boxer cut her off.

"You just can't say 'now, now' and forget the past," Boxer said. "People died. We have to find out what happened."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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