Thursday, April 24, 2014

Atlee Hall Success Story

Settlement for Man Who Sustained Heart Attack After a Catheter Tip Detached Following Ablation Procedure

Patient underwent a heart ablation procedure, which is performed by the cardiologist using a catheter to ablate, or electrically burn a nodule in the heart muscle that is sending an abnormal signal, thus creating an abnormal heart rhythm. Following the successful completion of the ablation, the patient returned three weeks later in the midst of a myocardial infarction. The tip of the catheter that had been used during the ablation had come detached and was retained in the patient’s heart. Ultimately, the tip of the catheter migrated through the chambers of the heart and out into the coronary arteries, causing the heart attack. Suit was initiated against both the manufacturer of the product and against the technicians who removed the catheter following the surgery, but did not note that the product was no longer intact.

Suit against the manufacturer was successfully concluded, after which suit against the hospital was initiated. The hospital did not join the manufacturer and thus was not entitled to an offset of the Plaintiff’s settlement with the manufacturer.

The patient recovered from his heart attack. The case against the hospital was successfully concluded as the trial date approached.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Supply Our School - Backpack Program

As a way to continue supporting this worthy cause to "Supply Our Schools", Atlee Hall, LLP is excited to announce that they will be again partnering up with Dougherty Office Supplies and participating in the 2014 Backpack Program. Established in 2009 by the United Stationers Charitable Foundation, the Backpack Program is designed to help children in need start off right with everything that they need to be successful for the upcoming school year. The backpacks purchased for each student will contain facial tissue, scissors, crayons, loose leaf paper, erasers, a glue stick, a ruler, a pencil case, washable markers, #2 pencils, and a spiral notebook.

The program is geared toward students in kindergarten through fifth grade, but more importantly, it focuses on those children who need it most. All students who receive a backpack participate in the National School Lunch Program which is a federally subsidized program that provides free or reduced cost lunches to children in need. The backpacks will be supplied only to schools where at least 75% of the student population participates in the free/reduced lunch program.

Atlee Hall, LLP and Dougherty Office Supplies know the importance of a good education and believe wholeheartedly that every child deserves a fair chance at getting one. That is why Atlee Hall, LLP and Dougherty Office Supply are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful program and make a meaningful difference in the lives of children who need it most.

If you are interested in becoming involved and participating in this program, please contact Lisa Rudolph at 717-393-9596 for more information.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

General Mills retracts policy on consumer’s right to sue.

The New York Times (4/20, Strom, Subscription Publication, 9.65M) reported that General Mills “on Saturday night announced in a stunning about-face that it was withdrawing its controversial plans to make consumers give up their right to sue it.” In an email “sent after 10 p.m. on Saturday, the company said that due to concerns that its plans to require consumers to agree to informal negotiation or arbitration had raised among the public, it was taking down the new terms it had posted on its website. ‘Because our concerns and intentions were widely misunderstood, causing concerns among our consumers, we’ve decided to change them back to what they were,’ Mike Siemienas, a company spokesman, wrote in the email. ‘As a result, the recently updated legal terms are being removed from our websites, and we are announcing today that we have reverted back to our prior legal terms, which contain no mention of arbitration.’”
        The AP (4/22) reports that the company “had posted a notice on its website, notifying visitors of a change to its legal terms – visitors using its websites or engaging with it online in a variety of other ways meant they would have to give up their right to sue,” and instead, under the new terms, “people would need to have disputes resolved through informal negotiation or arbitration.”
        MarketWatch (4/20, Cheng, 789K) and MSNBC (4/22, 45.1M) also report this story. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cadillac SUVs faced faulty ignition switch problems in 2006.

In continuing coverage of the GM faulty ignition switch crisis, Bloomberg News (4/17, Plungis, 2.76M) reports that NHTSA released documents on Wednesday revealing that GM engineers discovered the problem with faulty ignition switches accidently turning off Cadillac SRXs in 2006. GM Spokesman Greg Marin said that the design of the ignition in the SRX was changed before the car was put into production. Bloomberg reports that Delphi, the supplier of the faulty ignition switch, responded to a NHTSA inquest with documents showing that it supplied the ignition switches to the SRX.
        Reuters (4/17, Lienert, Beech) reports that it is not yet known whether earlier models of the SRX suffered from ignition switch problems.
        The Detroit (MI) News (4/17, Burden, 643K) reports that the design of the new, post-2006 SRX ignition switch was a more improved design that GM had rejected in 2001 in favor of the faulty ignition switches. Former NHTSA administrator Joan Claybrook, and Clarence Ditlow, the Center for Auto Safety wrote MG CEO Mary Barra asking her to explain why the company did not implement the safer switch in 2001.
        The Detroit (MI) Free Press (4/17, Spangler, 1.02M) reports that US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) is asking that a US bankruptcy court not allow GM to receive protection from liability claims prior to its 2009 bankruptcy. Blumenthal says that GM intends “to use the bankruptcy process to prevent many victims and their families from obtaining relief for the harms they have suffered.” He argues that GM “should do right by these victims and establish a compensation fund that will make them whole.”
        Automotive News (4/16, LaReau, 199K) reports that GM has revised the process of how its dealers will order parts for the recall, though many dealers still do not know when they will receive their parts for the recall.
        Also reporting on the GM crisis are the Detroit (MI) Free Press, (4/17, Priddle, 1.02M) NBC News (4/17, 7.5M), the AP (4/17), The Hill (4/17, Laing, 237K), and the Christian Science Monitor (4/17, Guarino, 566K).
        GM seeks to confirm product liability shield. USA Today (4/17, Spangler, 5.82M) reports that General Motors “is asking a bankruptcy judge in New York to confirm its shield from liability lawsuits tied to crashes or defects occurring before its bankruptcy.” A Federal judge in San Francisco “has scheduled arguments for April 25 in a class-action case from a group owners of cars that are part of GM’s vehicle recall,” but on Friday, GM “asked the judge to delay any ruling until it can get a bankruptcy judge in New York to reaffirm the liability protection granted to it in 2009.” The liability shield “could void the class-action lawsuit.” 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

It is more apparent than ever the need to reduce distracted driving.  Cellphone use has escalated over the past decade providing easier and new methods of instant communication.  With these technological advance have come unintended consequences.  The use of cellphones, especially texting, while driving has lead to in increase in vehicular related injuries and fatalities associated with distracted driving.

 The potential harm that can result from texting while driving is not feigned, but real and poses risks not only to the offending driver, but to other drivers, bike riders and pedestrians.  Think about this, a US Department of Transportation Study has found that the sending or receiving a text distracts a driver for an average of 4.6 seconds, if travelling 55 mph that would be like driving the distance of a football field blindfolded.  In 2011 more than 3,300 deaths were caused by distracted driving and more than 330,000 accident related injuries.  There are advocacy groups that claim these numbers are only a baseline of confirmed deaths and accidents related to distracted driving and the true loss is substantially higher, as many as 6,000 fatalities per year.
Those particularly at risk of distracted driving related accidents are drivers under the age of 20.  In part due to their inexperience behind the wheel and in part due to their reliance on texting as a means of communication.  Pew Research found that 40% of teens have been in a vehicle when either they or the driver used a cellphone in an unsafe manner.  This point becomes even more concerning when you consider that in 2011, 11% of all fatal car accidents involving drivers under the age of 20, resulted from distracted driving.

So, how do we reduce the occurrence of these unnecessary and senseless accidents that claim the lives of thousands?  The enactment of a “no-texting” law is a beginning, however, it is difficult to enforce and it is clear that the problem cannot be legislated away.  From a technology standpoint, several applications were recently developed that can be downloaded to mobile devices and prevent the sending and receiving of text messages in a moving vehicle.  These include, Textecution, AT&T Drivemode, DriveScribe and Text-STAR, these may be helpful for some and may be warranted for parents to insist teens use.

Fundamentally, however, the solution necessitates personal responsibility and a call to action.  Personal responsibility that each of us commit to not text while driving for our own safety, and the safety of others in the community.  And a call to action, to remind friends and family members to not text while driving, and most importantly, to educate children and young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.  It should be each of our charge to reduce these needless and unnecessary deaths and protect the most vulnerable, inexperienced and future of our community.  Because in a mere 4.6 seconds lives can be forever and tragically altered.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Massachusetts asks judge to uphold emergency ban on painkiller.

The Boston Globe (4/14, 1.62M) reports that an attorney for Massachusetts “urged a federal judge Monday to uphold the state’s emergency ban on Zohydro, a powerful, controversial painkiller, saying the state has the authority to regulate drugs coming into its market to confront a growing opiate addiction epidemic.” No other state “is believed to have banned a drug that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration,” but Jo Ann Shotwell Kaplan “argued that this is an ‘unusual’ case in which the FDA has approved a drug that has been opposed by 29 states. And, she said, the FDA’s own scientific advisory panel voted 11-2 against the drug’s approval. ‘A majority of the states weighed in on this, and said, “Don’t approve this,”’ said Kaplan, an assistant attorney general, adding that, ‘for that combination of states to coalesce is fairly unusual.’” Steven P. Hollman, an attorney for the drug’s maker, Zogenix, “argued that the state cannot put new restrictions on a drug that has already been approved by the federal agency responsible for making that decision.”

Indian drug maker recalls 10,000 bottles of antibacterial drugs.

The Wall Street Journal (4/15, Machado, Subscription Publication, 5.51M) reports that the US unit of Indian drug maker Lupin Ltd. is recalling thousands of bottles of antibacterial drugs which failed to meet FDA standards for impurities. The paper notes that the recall was actually initiated on Jan. 27 but made public by the FDA only this week. The latest recall is for Lupin’s cefixime, an antibiotic which is used to treat bacterial infections of the ear and upper respiratory tract.

        Reuters (4/15) reports that the FDA classified the incident as a Class III recall, meaning use of or exposure to the drug is unlikely to cause any adverse health effects. 

Two top executives leave GM.

The New York Times (4/15, Vlasic, Subscription Publication, 9.65M) reports on the departure from General Motors of Selim Bingol, senior vice president for global communications and public policy, and Melissa Howell, senior vice president for global human resources. Their departures are seen as “the first major executive change” under CEO Mary T. Barra. GM spokesman Greg Martin, said that they are “unrelated to the recall of Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars for defective ignition switches.” No replacement has been announced for Bingol, but John J. Quattrone will replace Howell. He was worked at GM since 1975. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Volkswagen Issues Stop-Sale Order and Recall Within 24 Hour Span

Yesterday, Jalopnik reported that it obtained a dealer memo stating that issued a stop-sale order for 2014 Jettas, Passats, and Beetles equipped with 1.8T engines built after February 1st and mated to automatic transmissions for a potential transmission oil cooler leak. There is no indication as to how many vehicles are affected by the problem, which can lead to a seized transmission and, if GM’s latest truck recall is any indication, the possibility of fire. The stop-sale order can be read click here.

As we’ve come to find out with recalls and safety issues in 2014, it no sooner starts sprinkling before the sky opens up and the deluge comes forth. This morning, a different Volkswagen recall was issued for 150,201 Passats from the 2012 and 2013 model years and manufactured between January 2011 and November 2012. The issue concerns a low beam headlight bulb that could become loose and lose electrical contact, and was first reported on back in March.
According to the NHTSA’s recall notice, the loss of a low beam headlight would lead to reduced visibility and an increased risk of crash. As with all recalls, owners will be contacted so that they make take their vehicles to certified dealers in order to have the bulb holder replaced for free.
The recall is expected to begin next month, and owners may feel free to contact Volkswagen (1-800-8228987, recall number 94G8/7V) or NHTSA (1-888-327-4236/1-800-424-9153/
Whether a recall will also be issued for the 2014 Jettas, Passats, and Beetles remains to be seen, though a stop-sale order is almost always a precursor to such an event. All of the 1.8T engines in the affected vehicles were built at the Silao, Mexico plant. According to Automotive News, some kind of follow-up from Volkswagen is expected “within the week.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

U.S. Fines General Motors $28,000 for Not Cooperating With Ignition Flaw Inquiry

Federal safety regulators fined General Motors $28,000 on Tuesday, saying it had not provided much of the information requested for an investigation into a recall of about 2.6 million cars with an ignition switch defect that G.M. has linked to 13 deaths.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on March 4 demanded answers to 107 questions related to why G.M. waited until February to start recalling the cars, even though it had been alerted to the problem as early as 2001. The cars contain a faulty ignition switch that is prone to turn off while driving, shutting off the engine and disabling the air bags.
The deadline for that information was April 3.
The agency fined General Motors $7,000 for each day it did not provide the information, the maximum allowed, with the current total being $28,000.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ford issues recalls for rusting frame parts, faulty seats

By Sean Gagnier, Crain News Service
DETROIT (April 8, 2014) — Ford Motor Co. is recalling 385,762 model-year 2001-2004 Escape SUVs due to rust that could cause the separation of the lower control arm from the subframe of the vehicle.
As of March 31, there are 348,804 affected vehicles in the U.S. and 36,799 in Canada, according to the auto maker.
The recall covers vehicles sold in states where high corrosion is likely to occur—mainly states that salt their roads in the winter.
According to Ford, auto dealers will install a crossbrace reinforcement to any vehicle affected by the recall. The company said it is aware of one crash that could be related to the recall, but is not aware of any injuries.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) closed a similar investigation into Ford vehicles last year and the company recalled 370,000 Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car vehicles from the 2005-11 model years to inspect and repair the lower steering shaft. These vehicles were also sold in “salt belt” states.
In an unrelated recall, NHTSA announced that Ford is recalling 48,960 model-year 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and C-Max vehicles to replace seatback frames that are not up to NHTSA standards.
No injuries or cashes have been reported as a result of the seatback frames and Ford has said that dealers will replace the frames on affected vehicles.
This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Last Thing: Power in the courtroom

In "One Last Thing,"  CNN's Michael Smerconish recaps his week, and reflects upon the power and importance of the civil justice system.

Click here to watch this video

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Senate panel hears testimony from General Motors CEO.

After appearing before a House panel on Tuesday, General Motors CEO Mary Barra appeared before a Senate Commerce Committee subcommittee Wednesday to discuss GM’s handling of a faulty ignition switch in some of its vehicles which has been linked to the deaths of 13 people. Coverage of Barra’s Senate testimony is much lighter than that of her House testimony. Only two of the three networks covered it Wednesday evening and there is less print coverage this morning. Generally, the coverage portrays the Senate hearing as more harsh than the House hearing, with many reports noting that senators accused GM of covering up the defect and were skeptical of Barra’s claims that GM’s culture has changed from that of the “old GM.”
        The CBS Evening News (4/2, story 4, 3:15, Pelley, 5.58M) reported that senators accused GM “of covering up a defect that has killed at least 13 people.” CBS (Glor) added that Barra faced “many questions,” including why “no one has been dismissed over the delayed recall.” CBS also noted that while Barra “says the recalled vehicles are still safe to drive as long as drivers use the key only,” on Friday, a Federal judge in Texas “will hear a request that all the recalled vehicles be parked immediately.”
        NBC Nightly News (4/2, story 4, 2:35, Williams, 7.86M) reported that Barra “came under withering attack for the company’s failure to order a recall over a decade ago.” In addition, GM was “accused of criminal behavior by US senators, many of them former prosecutors.” NBC (Costello) added that Barra “still could not answer basic questions about GM policies and a decade delay in ordering an ignition switch recall.” NBC added that a “smoking gun” may be an “internal GM document obtained by NBC News authorizing a redesign to the defective part of the ignition switch for new cars in 2006.” In addition, “a House investigation has turned up more internal GM documents that cited high costs as a reason for not ordering fixes way back in 2005.” According to NBC, the Justice Department “has launched its own criminal investigation” into the matter.
        The New York Times (4/3, Vlasic, Wald, Subscription Publication, 9.65M) reports that the tone of the Senate hearing was “much harsher” as “senators more aggressively questioned Ms. Barra’s contention that the cars are safe to drive and doubted her statement that the company had moved from a culture of cost-cutting to one of safety and a focus on the consumer.” Barra “frequently simply sat and listened as the senators scolded her and the company.” She “frequently drew the ire of the senators when she repeatedly did not answer questions, saying either that she did not know or noting that an internal investigation was underway.” The panel also heard testimony from acting NHTSA administrator David J. Friedman and the Transportation Department’s inspector general, Calvin L. Scovel III.
        The Wall Street Journal (4/3, Hughes, Bennett, Subscription Publication, 5.51M) reports that as Barra sought to distance GM from the “old GM,” she was met with harsh attacks from senators who were clearly skeptical about how different the current company is from the one that developed the faulty cars. The Journal notes that Sen. Richard Blumenthal told Barra that if she were serious about breaking with the “culture” of the old GM, she would agree to compensate those victims whose claims came before GM’s bankruptcy and warn owners of cars with potential faulty ignition switches that “they should not drive them until they are fixed – because they are unsafe.”
        McClatchy (4/3, Gordon, Subscription Publication, 23K) reports that Barra “withstood a barrage of questions and accusations” from senators “demanding to know how the automaker could have failed to fix the ignition switch for more than a decade.” Some “voiced skepticism about Barra’s candor in denying that she knew about the problem until Jan. 31 and in promising that the new GM, the one bailed out by taxpayers in 2009, ‘will do what’s right.’”
        Reuters (4/3, Klayman, Beech) also describes Barra as under attack during the hearing in which senators accused GM of “criminal” behavior and “a culture of cover-up.”
        A separate story in the New York Times (4/3, Abrams, Ivory, Subscription Publication, 9.65M) reports that for the families of people killed in accidents involving the recalled GM cars, what is “most upsetting” is “the fact that G.M. won’t tell them what they most want to know.” GM has “refused to disclose publicly the list of the confirmed victims,” and the “enduring mystery has left scores of grieving families playing a guessing game.” The families and their attorneys “are running up against a technological reality beyond G.M.’s narrow definition of victims: Because many of the cars and their so-called black boxes were damaged or destroyed, there may not be enough evidence left from the crashes to prove what happened.”
        Customers suing for “park-it” order on GM cars. Bloomberg News (4/3, Sandler, Calkins, 2.76M) reports that US District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos will “consider forcing the company to adopt what the customers call a ‘fail-safe solution’ to prevent further accidents while the switches are replaced.” Bloomberg reports that the “park-it” order was submitted along with a class-action lawsuit seeking $10 billion from GM, claiming that the cars are “too dangerous to drive.” 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

U.S. Pushes for Wider Recall of Graco Car Seats

Graco Children’s Products, which resisted recalling about 1.8 million child restraints earlier this year, has responded to a special order from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanding more information about incidents or injuries involving the rear-facing infant restraints. But despite continued pressure from the safety agency, Graco is not saying whether it will remain steadfast in its refusal.

“We are confident that the ongoing dialogue with N.H.T.S.A. and our shared commitment to child safety continues and will result in the best possible outcome for consumers,” wrote Ashley Mowrey, a spokeswoman for Graco, which is a division of Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid.

Click here to read the entire article.

GM Recalls

GM CEO testifies before Congress.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra’s testimony before a House subcommittee on Tuesday led all three network news broadcasts Tuesday evening. The networks dedicated more than nine-and-a-half minutes of coverage to the story, and it is the subject of extensive print coverage this morning. Generally the coverage casts lawmakers as angry that Barra was unable to provide more specific answers about GM’s delayed response to the faulty ignition switch problem. Most reports also note GM’s decision to retain Kenneth Feinberg, which is almost universally portrayed as an indication that the company expects to face claims from the families of those injured or killed in the recalled vehicles.
        ABC World News (4/1, lead story, 2:45, Sawyer, 7.43M) reported in its lead story that GM CEO Mary Barra was “in the hot seat” as she testified before Congress about crashes linked to faulty ignitions in GM vehicles. ABC (Jarvis) reported that Barra “was pressed on why the company decided, for nearly a decade, that fixing the ignition was too expensive.” ABC noted that GM “has now recalled more than two point six million cars with faulty ignitions.”
        NBC Nightly News (4/1, lead story, 3:50, Williams, 7.86M) reported in its lead story that the hearing “quickly got testy, because her company finds itself explaining faulty ignition switches, deadly accidents and a recall that’s at least a decade too late.” NBC (Costello) added that Barra “faced an angry Congress and promised to do the right thing.”
        The CBS Evening News (4/1, lead story, 3:05, Glor, 5.58M) reported in its lead story that soon after Barra was sworn, “Congresswoman Diana DeGette displayed a GM ignition switch and said it would have cost the company 57 cents to fix it.” CBS added that members of the panel “repeatedly referred to GM’s own documents saying in 2005, engineers decided fixing the problem was not an acceptable business case.” Barra “kept blaming the old GM for a culture centered around cost and lack of communication between departments,” but “the committee often expressed frustration Barra wasn’t able to give better answers.”
        USA Today (4/2, Spangler, Healey, 5.82M) reports that Barra “battled” the subcommittee, which “wanted far more information about GM’s fatal ignition-switch foul-ups than she was able to provide.” Barra was “battered for speaking ‘gobbledygook,’ thumped for not firing an engineer who apparently concealed a change to the potentially deadly switches, and blasted because GM made an economic decision to keep the flawed component in production while knowing it didn’t meet GM standards.” She avoided “any obvious gaffes” and largely avoided “specific answers, saying an internal investigation is underway into why it took GM so long to address ignition-switch problems first detected in 2001 this year.”
        Reuters (4/2, Klayman, Beech) reports that Barra called GM’s delayed response “unacceptable,” but failed to provide any explanation. Rep. Henry Waxman told Barra, “Because GM didn’t implement this simple fix when it learned about the problem, at least a dozen people have died in defective GM vehicles.” Reuters notes that Barra also announced that GM had retained as a consultant Kenneth Feinberg, who will consider possible responses to the families of those inured or killed in crashes involving the impacted cars.
        The Washington Post (4/2, Fletcher, Mufson, 2.33M) reports that Barra “deflected a barrage of questions on Capitol Hill about the automaker’s failure to fix a deadly ignition-switch flaw, telling lawmakers that she was unaware of the decade-old problem until early this year.” While she “repeatedly apologized” for the defect, she also “repeatedly ducked lawmakers’ sometimes testy queries, saying she is awaiting the results of an internal investigation.” The Post also notes that the decision to retain Feinberg “suggests that GM expects to face additional claims on behalf of people killed or injured in the recalled vehicles.”
        The New York Times (4/2, Vlasic, Wald, Subscription Publication, 5.41M) reports that in announcing that the company had retained Feinberg, Barra said, “G.M. has civil and legal responsibilities. ... We are thinking through exactly what those responsibilities are.” The announcement marked “the first time that G.M. has acknowledged that is considering making such payments, and comes in the face of mounting pressure from lawmakers and consumer groups.” 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On eve of congressional hearings, GM announces more recalls.

The ongoing saga of the GM recalls continued to draw heavy media attention in the latest news cycle, including spots on all three nightly news programs. The focus of most pieces was divided between the news of the latest round of recalls and this week’s congressional hearings, including new information released by the House on the issue.
        ABC World News (3/31, lead story, 2:20, Sawyer, 7.43M) reported that GM is recalling an addition 1.3 million car, “this time, from power steering suddenly cutting out, right on the heels of that problem with the ignition and the air bags.” The new recall come a day before GM CEO Mary Barra is expected to face “tough questions” in congressional hearings. ABC (Jarvis) calls the new recall a “stunning revelation.” GM has now recalled 2.6 million cars “because their ignition switches could turn off, shutting down the car’s power and safety systems, including the air bag.” In prepared testimony released by a House committee, Barra “will say she is deeply sorry, reiterating her promise to conduct a thorough investigation and saying today’s GM will do the right thing.”
        NBC Nightly News (3/31, story 6, 1:20, Williams, 7.86M) reported that GM announced on Monday “it is expanding yet again the number of cars it is recalling because of potentially serious safety issues.” NBC (Costello) adds that GM is saying that the “newly expanded list of recalled vehicles now focuses on a power steering issue, the recalls include the Chevy Malibu and Malibu Max,” covering model years 2004 to 2009, along with five other GM models.
        The CBS Evening News (3/31, lead story, 3:10, Pelley, 5.58M) says that for GM, “bad news is turning into a pileup” with the announcement of another round of recalls. Looking at the Cobalt ignition problems, CBS (Glor) says that the “first recall by GM didn’t come until February of this year, 13 years after the problem was discovered.”
        The Detroit News (4/1, Shepardson, Burden, 466K) reports that GM “has now recalled more than 6.3 million vehicles this year — compared with about 800,000 in the United States last year — as it seeks to more aggressively respond to safety issues.” GM spokesman Alan Adler “said the automaker has reports of some crashes and injuries related to the problem, but no deaths.”
        The Wall Street Journal (4/1, Bennett, Hughes, Subscription Publication, 4.25M) reports that in addition to the new announcement about the recall, GM also said it will take a Q1 charge of $750 million, more than twice what it initially forecast. Turning to Barra’s prepared remarks, the Journal reports she will say, “Sitting here today, I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced in that [small car] program, but I can tell you that we will find out.” On the whole, the Journal says that her statement provides little insight into the decisions that resulted in the delayed recall.
        NHTSA’s Friedman blames GM for recall failings. The New York Times (4/1, Wald, Subscription Publication, 5.41M) reports that in written testimony filed in advance, David Friedman, acting administrator of the NHTSA, “will seek to cast blame on General Motors when he testifies on Tuesday before a House subcommittee looking into the Chevrolet Cobalt ignition problem.” Friedman will say that GM “had critical information that would have helped identify this defect.” Friedman is expected to testify before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations on Tuesday, along with Barra.

        USA Today (4/1, Healey, 5.82M) reports on key questions Barra is facing, such as how the situation could have developed. On the question of whether Barra will “go to jail,” USA Today says, “No, but others might. She appears not to have known anything about the problem until shortly before the February recall announcement,” while “her position atop a limited liability corporation should insulate her.” However, if the “2006 change in switch design was done to fix a known safety problem, and federal safety officials weren’t told, then people involved in that could have broken federal law.”