Transcript: Lauren Christian’s press briefing remarks on GM’s ignition switch recall – April 1, 2014

Partial transcript of press briefing remarks by Lauren Christian, mother of Amber Marie Rose, on GM’s ignition switch recall on April 1, 2014:

My name is Lauren Christian. I’m the birth mother of Amber Marie Rose, the first known fatality of the Chevy Cobalt defect.

At first it was one, and then we were a few. As you see, we are many. And there are still more.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are the people left behind when a loved one got into what was supposed to be a safe car – a GM car. A car that GM knew for years was dangerous and defective.

Our daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, wives and husbands are gone because they were a cost of doing business GM’s style.

Corporate executives made a decision that fighting the problem was cheaper and easier than fixing the problem.

My mission is two-fold. First to make sure that everyone who is driving one of these dangerous cars is aware of the defects. A lot of these cars have been re-sold, and as such, a recall notice will not be sent to them.

When I went to the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, known as NHTSA, I was distraught to see the ineffective small message about the recall that was replaced by the next message after about seven seconds. It doesn’t say anything about 13 people who are known to have been killed because of this defect. The language does not convey the urgent, critical, and potentially lethal importance of this message. NHTSA must be more direct, helpful, and transparent with the public that they serve.

People with these vehicles should get their cars off the road until the ignition has been repaired to protect themselves and everyone sharing the roads with them.

The second part of my mission is to reform the way GM and other car manufacturers do business. Car manufacturers cannot be permitted to continue as if there is an acceptable loss of life.

Now is the time for Congress to act and pass legislation that will give the public access to life and death information, give NHTSA the enforcement tools that they need, and give automakers a warning that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

NHTSA, which is responsible for protecting monitoring of the American public, needs more resources to get their job done. I urge Congress to take immediate action to provide additional funding for NHTSA and to make the agency more transparent and effective for the public they are charged with serving.

Please help us protect our children and pass legislation to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again.

Thank you.

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