The Texas lawyer who is leading the fight against General Motors over the massive ignition switch recall says GM executives who clearly were aware of the problem and did nothing for more than a decade to deal with it 'need to go to jail.'
Robert Hilliard of Corpus Christi sat down with 1200 WOAI's Stephanie Narvaez during a stop in San Antonio. He is leading a class action lawsuit on behalf of GM customers who were hurt and the families of those who died in crashes of now recalled vehicles over the past decade.
Hilliard says paying fines isn't enough to get the message out that America does not accept this sort of negligence.
"GM will likely recover, but the second question is, will they ever do it again," he said. "And the answer is, yes, if the only thing they are required to do is pay billions of dollars in fines. They are designed for one purpose only, and that is to make money."
Hilliard is now asking a federal judge in Corpus Christi to order the drivers of all 2.6 million vehicles which have been recalled to stoop driving them immediately. He says unless his 'park it' request is granted, more people will die behind the wheel of the cars.
"There are over 2 million of these vehicles still out there," he said. "So even though you probably don't drive a recalled car, you could be hit by a recalled car. If you hit a rough patch of road or a pothole, that could cause you to lose control of your car."
Hilliard is now asking for the documents GM submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explaining details of the defective ignition switch recall. GM has refused to share the documents on the grounds that they are not relevant to the case at hand.
"With all due respect to GM, its response is a smoke screen," Hilliard said. "The NHTSA believed the documents relevant and ordered them produced--which makes these documents, and the new facts included in the documentation, extremely relevant to our Emergency Motion."
Hilliard says it is time that these cars were parked.
"This defect is severe and lives are being lost," he told 1200 WAOI news. "The devastation is heartbreaking and immeasurable. This is a human safety issue that is ongoing. I would not wish it on anyone. Keep tomorrow's victim alive by making sure these cars are parked."