Senate Bill Aims Life in Prison at Recall Delaying Executives

Senate Bill Aims Life in Prison at Recall Delaying Executives

General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra’s recent take-no-prisoners approach to vehicle recalls might start spreading if a new Senate bill becomes law.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the staunchest critics of how General Motors handled its massive ignition switch recall, introduced a bill called the Motor Vehicle Highway Safety Enhancement Ac on Friday that could mean automobile executives found responsible for delaying recalls facing life in prison if the defects are linked to deaths. A summary of the bill, which seeks to improve vehicle and road safety, from McCaskill’s office points to the U.S. Justice Department’s record criminal settlement. In that case, the settlement was for violations to the Wire Act and not for ignoring auto safety laws. According to the summary, federal prosecutors have never used the current criminal penalty provisions.

Among other things, the bill McCaskill is backing would give federal prosecutors more power to level criminal charges at auto executives along with increasing the possible penalties to include life sentences.

General Motors is still in the midst of executing an unprecedented number of recalls. Currently, the Detroit automaker reports having  recalled over 28.7 million vehicles worldwide in 2014. The company officially linked 13 deaths to the faulty ignition switches.

[Source: Automotive News]

  • Disqus11111

    Grandstanding garbage by a politician. Figures. Not chance and McCaskill knows it.

  • Jeff T

    No…just no. So stupid if you look at all the other crimes which kill innocent people and the guilty person receive a year max (DUI….). Weren’t some 80% of people killed by the ignition switch under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Also what would throwing some engineer is prison do? Just fire him….

  • They wouldn’t be throwing the engineers in prison. They’d be throwing the suits in prison, if they’re found guilty of causing deaths through negligent behavior.

    And the DUI parallel doesn’t hold up because there’s not typically a profit motive in a DUI manslaughter. (Also, jurisdictions vary, but in my home state of Florida, the mandatory minimum for a DUI manslaughter conviction is four years per count.)

  • Jeff T

    Your right, I re read the article and they would be throwing the suits in. My comment about the DUI was more of a point that if the drivers who were killed were not under the influence, would they been able to safety bring the car to a stop or reduce the crash impact?