During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Klobuchar urged Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to work quickly and thoroughly to find out why NHTSA waited to respond to mounting evidence linking GM vehicles to fatal crashes – including a crash that killed a Minnesota woman 

Klobuchar also called for action to help strengthen rail infrastructure, protect communities near rail routes, and address delays in service for agricultural producers 

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today pressed the Department of Transportation to quickly and thoroughly complete its investigation into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) handling of the General Motors (GM) recall. During a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, Klobuchar urged Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to work quickly to find out why NHTSA waited to respond to mounting evidence linking GM cars to fatal crashes, including a crash that killed a Minnesota woman.

“In the face of mounting complaints of faulty ignition switches in GM cars, NHTSA failed to take action to protect American consumers,” Klobuchar said. “These switches caused crashes and claimed lives across the country, including Minnesota, and the victims and their families deserve answers. The Department of Transportation must complete its investigation of NHTSA to find out what went wrong and how to help prevent it from happening again.”

Klobuchar also called for action to help strengthen rail infrastructure and protect communities near rail routes, and also address rail delays for agricultural producers. Last month, Klobuchar sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging for increased funding for additional rail inspectors and for a stronger inspection process.

“Recent high-profile train derailments demonstrate how urgent it is that we improve rail safety and protect communities along rail routes,” Klobuchar said. “It is critical that we have a robust federal rail inspection program to ensure safe and reliable railroad tracks across the nation.”

At a Commerce Subcommittee hearing last month, Klobuchar questioned GM’s CEO and NHTSA officials about why they failed to act more aggressively in the face of mounting evidence of defective ignition switches. At the hearing, Klobuchar highlighted the tragic death of Natasha Weigel, a Minnesota woman who was killed in a 2006 car crash involving a Chevy Cobalt that had a faulty ignition switch. Klobuchar met with Natasha’s father before the hearing. 

Klobuchar also successfully pushed for a Senate Commerce Committee hearing with federal rail officials and experts in March where she discussed how recent train derailments in North Dakota, Minnesota and Canada highlight the need to move advance critical safety measures. At the hearing, she called for action on common sense reforms to help strengthen rail infrastructure and protect communities along rail routes.

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