The nation is in an uproar following a recent announcement by General Motors that the company is recalling 2.5 million vehicles for a major defect that has killed dozens and injured many more. USA Today and others are reporting that a coalition of parents is now calling on the government to punish GM for not recalling the vehicles sooner, while political activist Michael Moore has piped into the conversation with pleas for GM executives to be hunted down and executed.
The controversy stems from a faulty ignition switch that GM has been installing in many of its cars for nearly a decade. Accusations claim that GM executives knew about the defective switch as far back as 2002 but did nothing about it. As a result, there have been at least 31 car wrecks and 13 deaths associated with the switch's malfunction in the years since, which recently triggered a company-wide recall of all the affected vehicles.
"Corporate executives made a decision that fighting the problem was cheaper and easier than fixing the problem," says Laura Christian, the mother of a 13-year-old girl who was killed back in 2005 when her Chevy Cobalt, which contained the faulty switch, crashed into a tree. Reports indicate that the girl died after airbags in the vehicle failed to deploy.
Other problems associated with the faulty switch include sudden power steering failure, which is what killed 21-year-old Kelly Erin Ruddy back in 2010. USA Today explains that the young woman burned to death after getting into a wreck due to the switch's failure, an issue that was reluctantly acknowledged by GM just three months after Kelly died.
"I kept thinking that my heart is so broken, but the one thing I will see to is that this will never happen to another family," stated Kelly's mother to reporters. She and others who have had family members become seriously injured or die from the defective switch are now calling on Congress to pass legislation improving transparency within the auto industry.
To make matters worse, the faulty part would have only cost about $2 to replace per vehicle, had GM executives taken it seriously from the start. But because of their apparent disinterest in their customers' safety, not to mention their insatiable greed, the matter was ignored until finally erupting into a national controversy that could forever taint the once-beloved household name.
"Two dollars. That's how little this ignition switch could have cost to repair," commented Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.). "Two dollars that could have saved priceless lives. That was apparently $2 too much for General Motors. This recall is a decade late and dozens of lives and injuries short."
Even more disheartening than this whole GM scandal, though, is the much bigger vaccine scandal -- which still goes unaddressed. Though vaccines injure and kill far more people annually than defective Chevy Cobalts, there is no mainstream movement to hold vaccine manufacturers accountable for injuring and killing children.
In fact, the federal government has granted the vaccine industry total immunity from ever having to face the legal system for its crimes against humanity.
"On February 22, 2011 [sic] the U.S. Supreme Court shielded drug companies from all liability for harm caused by vaccines mandated by government when companies could have made a safer vaccine," explains the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC).
"[D]rug companies selling vaccines in America will not be held accountable by a jury of our peers in a court of law if those vaccines brain damage us but could have been made less toxic," it adds, noting that "if you get paralyzed by a flu shot or your child has a serious reaction to a vaccine required for school and becomes learning disabled, epileptic, autistic, asthmatic, diabetic or mentally retarded, you are on your own."