Safety And Justice

Safety And Justice

September, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:Department of Justice Acts – But Not For GM Crash Victims The NY Times reported: “WASHINGTON — Stung by years of criticism that it has coddled Wall Street criminals, the Justice Department issued new policies on Wednesday that prioritize the prosecution of individual employees — not just their companies — and put pressure on corporations to turn over evidence against their executives….” “The new rules take effect immediately, but they are not likely to apply to investigations that are far along, such as one into General Motors over defects. Prosecutors in New York are struggling to charge company employees over problems linked to the deaths of more than 100 people, partly because the laws governing car companies require that prosecutors show that the employees intended to break the law, a higher standard than in other industries like pharmaceuticals and food.” See Victims Act An announcement by The Safety Institute: “Today, The Safety Institute (TSI) announces that the Melton family will sponsor the Vehicle Safety Watch List in memory of their daughter Brooke, who died in a 2010 crash caused by a well-known ignition switch defect in her 2005 Chevy Cobalt. “Brooke would still be alive if GM had acknowledged the ignition defect and fixed it. Brooke would be alive if the regulators had followed up on their own investigations which revealed the problem,” Ken Melton said. “It’s clear to us that the accountability systems we have in place don’t work as well as they should. The Watch List provides another tool, another way to look at defect trends. So, we are investing in a process that can help uncover emerging problems before they take more lives and turn into a full-blown crisis and cover-up.”

“Brooke Melton, 29, died when she skidded into another vehicle after the ignition module of her 2005 Cobalt slipped into the accessory position. Evidence produced in the Melton case showed that GM knew about that the ignition switch problem as early as 2001.

Brooke Melton’s 2010 death was initially deemed the result of a loss-of-control crash on a rainy night. But the Meltons’ persistence revealed GM’s longstanding knowledge that its defective ignition module that could shift out of the run position while a vehicle is underway, turning off the airbags at the same time it is cutting off the engine power, anti-lock brakes and power steering. In February 2014, after GM reported the defect and launched a limited recall, the Meltons asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation into GM’s actions.

That investigation eventually led to $35 million in civil fines levied against GM, and nearly 15 million vehicles recalled. Congress held hearings on GM’s deception and NHTSA’s failures to probe the defect when it first learned about airbag deployment failures in 2007. The ignition switch defect is also at the center of a multi-district litigation (MDL).

In light of the more detailed picture that emerged, Ken and Beth Melton returned their original settlement and pursued GM for fraud to hold the automaker accountable and improve safety for all consumers. This case was settled in April.”  See

and watch

Hope & Thanks For Safety and Justice Thanks to the Melton family and The Safety Institute for continuing the efforts to achieve Safety and Justice for all crash victims.


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