General Motors CEO Mary Barra will testify before a congressional subcommittee on April 1 in regards to the safety recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is tasked with investigating the widening recall, announced Barra’s appearance late Thursday night. The committee is looking to see if “this tragedy could have been prevented and what can be done to ensure the loss of life doesn’t happen again”.
The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, David Friedman, will testify in front of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee as to why the watchdog group didn’t react quicker to control the problem with the ignition switches.
“We look forward to hearing from both Mary Barra and Administrator Friedman. Their testimony is critical to understanding what the company and NHTSA knew about the safety problems, when they knew it, and what was done about it,” committee Chairman Fred Upton told the Free Press.
The committee asked GM and the NHTSA last week for detailed documentation about the recall and prior discussions between the two parties about the safety issues. The documents are due on Tuesday of next week. NHTSA regulators allegedly notified representatives from GM about the potential safety issue as far back as 2007, while GM records indicate it was receiving complaints about switches long before that and knew of the safety risk as early as 2001.
GM has pledged its cooperation in regards to the investigation and GM spokesman, Greg Fields, said Barra “welcomes the opportunity to participate in the hearing as part of GM’s effort to cooperate with Congress and other authorities.”