U.S. federal prosecutors
questioning GM lawyers on vehicle recalls: source
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[August 22, 2014]
By Emily Flitter
(Reuters) - U.S. federal
prosecutors have learned that lawyers for General Motors
Co were present at key meetings during which information
about problems with some of its vehicles were discussed,
a source close to the investigation said.
The prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice have asked how
lawyers attending those meetings participated in them and what they
did afterward with the information that was shared during the
meetings, the source said.
General Motors had issued a report in June which detailed how for 11
years it turned a blind eye to an ignition-switch problem linked to
at least 13 deaths but largely pinned the blame on what the report
described as incompetent lower-level employees, leaving top brass
Lower-level lawyers are among the 15 people GM has dismissed in the
safety debacle that has resulted in millions of recalled vehicles.
"We're cooperating fully," a representative from the company said.
The Justice Department was not immediately available for comment
outside of regular U.S. business hours.
Employees within the No.1 U.S. automaker's legal department are
being scrutinized for concealing evidence from regulators about a
faulty ignition switch, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing
Concealing evidence about the faulty ignition switch could have led
to a potential delay in the recall of the affected vehicles, the
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U.S. senators in July demanded to know why General Motors did not
fire its top lawyer, General Counsel Michael Millikin, after it was
revealed this year that the automaker' s litigation department knew
of a widespread and deadly ignition flaw but failed to escalate the
(Reporting by Emily Flitter in New York; Additional reporting by
Tanvi Mehta in Bangalore and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by
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