WASHINGTON, July 2 A U.S. Senate panel's probe
into General Motors Co's botched handling of faulty
ignition switches that have been tied to at least 16 fatal car
crashes will continue with a second hearing on July 17.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on
Wednesday announced the hearing to be held by a consumer
protection and product safety subcommittee.
It follows an initial hearing held in early April.
The Senate panel, along with the House of Representatives
Energy and Commerce Committee, is investigating why it took GM
more than a decade to recall cars with the safety defect.
The Senate Commerce Committee has not yet announced who will
testify at the July 17 hearing.
GM CEO Mary Barra has made three appearances before the
House and Senate panels since the beginning of April.
The faulty ignition switches on a range of GM vehicles can
cause engines to stall and power brakes and steering to
malfunction. The problem also was found to prevent air bags from
deploying during crashes.
Last month, GM announced the creation of a victims'
compensation fund and it has promised to improve
handling of safety defects.
But the Detroit automaker still faces ongoing investigations
by the U.S. Congress, the Justice Department and state agencies,
as well as several lawsuits.
GM has acknowledged at least 16 deaths and 61 crashes
related to the ignition switch problem.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; editing by Matthew Lewis)