By Brian Ries | Mashable
Congress on Tuesday will grill General Motors' new CEO Mary Barra about a defective ignition switch in the company's cars that's responsible for more than a dozen deaths over the past decade. GM has so far recalled 2.6 million cars as a result of the defect.
While much of Tuesday's hearing will focus on problems of the past, it has the potential to change GM's future. Here are five reasons why you should care.
1. It could have been you in your first car.
At least 13 people have died in GM vehicles that have been linked to the defect, and some say that number could reach 25 or more. The majority of the victims killed in the crashes were young, and many of them were women, all of whom were driving small, entry-level cars like the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Saturn Ion. For some of them, these were their first cars.
The defect is a result of a faulty ignition switch that causes cars to suddenly switch off. This then stiffens the brakes, causes a loss of power steering and disables the air bags a cruel chain of events that may have sent inexperienced drivers careening off the road and to their deaths.
"With an entry-level car where you have a newly licensed driver, the freak-out will win the day," Robert Hilliard, a Texas personal injury lawyer with lawsuits against GM, told the Associated Press. "All that those young drivers are going to do is respond to the panic."
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