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Rep. John Larson

Congress Plots Safety Investigation into GM

The U.S. congressional investigation into General Motors Co automobile defects will bring aggressive scrutiny to a company with powerful lobbying clout and strong ties on Capitol Hill.GM's recall of 1.6 million vehicles, due to an ignition-switch problem linked to 12 fatalities, has put the Detroit automaker in Congress' cross hairs, with potentially dramatic hearings kicking off in April.GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is scheduled to testify on April 1 to a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating the ignition problem. In what could be a preview of such testimony, Barra on Monday declared in a video that "something went wrong with our process" and "terrible things happened."The handling of the defect by GM, which first noticed it in 2001, and federal regulators is the top priority of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to aides.Congressional investigations into consumer safety issues always have the potential of becoming a public relations nightmare for...

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