Local Family Dealing With New Allegations Against GM

By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email
By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email

April 2, 2014

The CEO of General Motors faced a second day of questioning today, from lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

They want answers about the faulty ignition switch that may have caused the deaths of at least13 people.

Family members of those killed looked on as GM CEO Mary Barra faced questions about whether GM covered up the product malfunction.

She said she is waiting on the results of an internal investigation. Her lack of answers seemed to irritate lawmakers.

Several senators are calling for tough action against any GM executives that covered up the deadly mistake. Barra said she would be willing to appear before Congress again when the internal investigation is complete.

A local family who lost their son in an accident involving a GM car is dealing with these new revelations about the company's alleged negligence.

The crash that killed their son left Brenda and Gordon Hair with more questions than answers.

There was no ice on the road, no alcohol or drugs in his system, he wasn't speeding. Benjamin was wearing his seat belt.

So why did the Virginia Tech student lose control of the car, crashing into a tree on Stony Point Road?

And why didn't his airbags go off?

The first hints of an answer came in the mail ten months after Ben Hair died.

A recall notice for his Pontiac G5 for the power steering.

But that was only the beginning. The recall notices kept coming, with new ailments for the car.

GM says the problem is a faulty ignition switch that shuts off power to the air bags, steering and brakes. The had conducted five internal studies about the ignition problem before the fatal crash.

Brenda Hair had decided to fight GM about her son's death. But because she had no evidence of a car malfunction, with the black box long gone, there was a limit to how far she could take it.

And still, they keep getting recall notices in the mail, each one a fresh reminder of what they believe GM failed to do before their son got in the car that night.

After the death of his son, Gordon Hair focused his grief into a foundation honoring his son's love of swimming.

But with new evidence of GM's inaction, and reports that they might have been aware of the problem as far back as 2001, new feelings have come to the surface.

Now, he wants accountability.

The Hair’s are facing tough decisions now. What to do next, and how to handle this new information.

But like a lot of families, they want answers. What did GM know? And when did they know it?


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