|The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C., headquarters of the United States Department of Justice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
You may have seen in the news that General Motors is being investigated for a massive cover-up of a serious flaw in some of its cars: The ignition switches sometimes turn off while driving, shutting down the cars' power steering, brakes, and airbags. I believe this flaw and this cover-up is why my cousin Sarah is dead.Now I am fighting to get her justice.
My cousin Sarah was one of the sweetest, most caring people I knew. She was a freshman in college, and her dream was to be a pediatric cardiologist. But one morning in 2009, as Sarah was driving home to see her new puppy, her car veered off the road and hit a tree. We thought she might have fallen asleep behind the wheel, but then we learned her car should have been recalled and may have shut off while she was driving. Her airbag never deployed. She didn't have a chance.
Congress and the Department of Justice are investigating GM's massive cover-up, which caused the deaths of at least 13 people. Cases like this often result in monetary settlements, but I think it's ridiculous that the people responsible for so many deaths could come away with no consequences whatsoever.
According to the investigations happening now, GM first became aware of the problem with their ignition switches in 2001. The first reported death occurred in 2005, which prompted a Congressional investigation, but still, cars like Sarah's remained on the road. We recently found out that Sarah's car was one of 2.6 million that should have been recalled.
The faulty part in the GM cars cost only 57 cents to replace. Instead of spending a measly 57 cents, GM was willing to let my cousin Sarah and at least 13 other people die.
GM is far from the only company to have done something like this -- in fact, the government just completed a similar yearlong investigation of Toyota. But these investigations almost never lead to criminal charges, which is why corporations keep behaving this way. This time, for Sarah and the other victims, things will be different. This time, the people who caused their deaths will have to answer for what they did.
Karlie Brighton Yarbrough