|Carson: Nation Benefits From a Stronger GM, But Consumers Must be Protected in Process|
July 6, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Congressman André Carson issued the following statement on the recent approval by a bankruptcy judge that allows GM to sell the bulk of its assets to a new company. The move clears the way for a “New GM” to quickly emerge from bankruptcy protection.
While praising GM for clearing this first major hurdle, Carson continued to press for the passage of the “Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act,” a bill he introduced late last month that would require the newly-restructured GM and Chrysler to carry liability insurance and force the carmakers to cover any current and future claims made against them for defective products produced by their predecessor company.
“There is no question our nation’s battered economy needs a stronger GM to arise from bankruptcy. With tens of thousands of well-paying American jobs at stake, we need the New GM to be a significant player in our economic recovery. Yesterday’s approval in bankruptcy court is positive first step in paving the way for this new, stronger GM.
“But the revival of GM, as well as its fellow auto icon, Chrysler, does not and should not have to come at the expense of the American consumer, who deserves the right to hold accountable any business that produces a defective product that causes personal injury or harm.
“As it stands now due to bankruptcy protection, drivers who have a pending liability claim against either GM or Chrysler will likely never receive their fair shake in court. And in the case of Chrysler, its new entity has also been absolved from liability for any future claims, meaning that anyone who is injured from this point forward by a defective product made by the pre-bankruptcy Chrysler will not be able to hold the automaker accountable in court.
“The bill I filed last month, the ‘Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act,’ would protect the fundamental rights of American consumers while not interfering with the bankruptcy proceedings of either automaker.
“Moving forward the new GM and Chrysler does not have to mean a setback for the American consumer. The Warriner Consumer Protection Act allows us to pave the way for a new and stronger GM and Chrysler while protecting the right of any wrongfully- injured driver to have his or her day in court.”
More on the Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act
Four years after a traffic accident nearly killed him,
When Chrysler filed bankruptcy in April, Jeremy’s mediation date was cancelled and his case has now been grouped with a number of other pending claims—likely never to see any payout due to the agreement struck in the bankruptcy court last month. The court has absolved “New Chrysler,” which emerged from bankruptcy, from any liability for future claims related to vehicles made before the creation of the new company.
To help Jeremy and thousands of future crash victims have their day in court, Congressman André Carson has filed the “Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act,” a bill that would require the newly-restructured GM and Chrysler to carry liability insurance and force the carmakers to cover successful legal claims made against them for any defective products produced by their predecessor company.
GM’s announcement last week that it would assume responsibility for covering future claims made by drivers injured in cars manufactured pre-bankruptcy does not eliminate the need for legislative action. GM has still not assumed liability for pending claims caught up in court, and there is no relief for individuals who have been or will be injured by a Chrysler vehicle produced before their bankruptcy.
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