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Senators Want to Know Why GM’s Top Lawyer is Still on the Job

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On Thursday, Senator Clair McCaskill asked why General Motors top lawyer is still employed by the company, according to The Wall Street Journal. This question shows that lawmakers investigating the company are going to dig deeper for changes to the senior staff at the automaker following its recall of small vehicles due to the ignition switch failure.

The delay in the recall of the vehicles lasted some 11 years and senators looking into it pressed General Motors to expand its compensation program for victims.

“How in the world, in the aftermath of this report, did Michael Millikin keep his job?” McCaskill, (D., Mo.) asked when she made her opening statements. “I do not understand how the general counsel for the litigation department that had this massive failure of responsibility—how he would be allowed to continue in that important leadership role in this company.”

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McCaskill’s statements come on the heels of Millikin and GM Chief Executive Mary Barra prepare to testify as to why it took GM 11 years to recall the vehicles. All told, some 2.6 million cars were recalled due to a faulty ignition switch that led to the deactivation of airbags and the deaths of 13 people. Lawyers for the plaintiffs claim that the number is higher.

“From my viewpoint, the CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, has stepped up and with courage and conviction has confronted head-on the problem and the corporate culture that caused it,” McCaskill said in her opening remarks. “Some see the record number of recalls at General Motors as a problem. I see it as a good sign.”

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