Ten years ago, Candace Anderson, a 21 year old young woman, was convicted of criminal negligent homicide as a result of a one car motor vehicle crash. Ms. Anderson lost control of her 2004 GM Saturn Ion. Her fiancé, a front seat passenger, was killed in the crash when his passenger side air bag failed to deploy. Since that time, Candace Anderson, who was sentenced to a $10,000 fine, 260 hours of community service, counseling and five years of probation, has been racked with guilt over the death of her fiancé
This week, Ms. Anderson, was cleared of any criminal responsibility for the crash following the admission by General Motors that her fiancé’s death was due to a defective ignition switch in the Saturn Ion.
Most distressing, is that five months before Ms. Anderson plead guilty, General Motors conducted its internal review of the crash and determined that the crash was due not to the fault of Ms. Anderson, but due to the defective ignition switch. General Motors never advised Ms. Anderson, her fiancé‘s estate or the Court of its finding. In 2007, GM wrote to the National Highway Safety Administration, falsely stating that it had not accessed the cause of the crash.
GM is not alone. Toyota spent years wrongly blaming sudden acceleration events on drivers. See also the recent stories about Takata and Honda. This is why they want less regulation and more tort reform. Sort of like terrorists arguing for less security at airports. Bad corporations should and need to be held accountable for their bad corporate choices.