General Motors’ legal team continues to come under heavy scrutiny for not taking action after finding out about faulty ignition switches in some of the automaker’s vehicles. Reuters reports U.S. prosecutors recently learned that GM lawyers were present at key meetings in which information about the ignition switch flaws were discussed.
The U.S. Department of Justice now wants to know what was discussed at the meetings, how the lawyers participated and what they did with the information after the meetings. GM’s legal team has taken the brunt of the blame for the delayed recalls, with lower-level lawyers among the 15 people the automaker fired in the wake of the controversy.
A U.S. Senate hearing in July attended by GM CEO Mary Barra and top GM lawyer Michael Milikin saw lawmakers criticize Barra heavily for not firing Milikin. They argued that there is no way GM can change its corporate culture if it keeps Milikin around, whose employees were partially blamed for the delayed ignition switch recall.
“How in the world, in the aftermath of this report, did Michael Millikin keep his job?” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) said during the July hearing. “This is either gross negligence or gross incompetence.”
Prosecutors are now blaming GM lawyers for concealing information in regards to the faulty cars after finding out they attended the meetings. If they did conceal evidence, this could have led to a delay in the recall of the affected vehicles, Reuters says. The Justice Department was not immediately available for comment in regards to the matter.