The father of a woman killed in the crash of a General Motors car recalled for a deadly ignition key fault said the compensation the automaker has offered his family is not enough.
Doug Weigel also said on Thursday it was good that some GM executives had been fired as a result of some 2.6 million cars being recalled for the faulty ignitions that caused some cars to suddenly stall on the road, with the loss of power steering and brakes.
"It's a start that they are holding those people responsible," Weigel said after GM's Chief Executive Mary Barra said 15 engineers had been fired and a handful more disciplined over the issue. The Weigels have sued GM, alleging the automaker was negligent in designing its cars.
Barra said an internal report had found incompetence and neglect, but not a cover-up after GM took more than a decade to recall cars with faulty ignitions that caused some cars to suddenly stall on the road.
"Those people took decisions that killed people," Weigel said. His daughter Natasha, 18, and her friend, Amy Rademaker, 15, were riding in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt —- a now-recalled model — when the car suddenly lost power and slammed into trees on a rural Wisconsin road on Oct. 24, 2006.
"GM needs to take responsibility," Weigel said.
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GM has never released the names of the 13 victims, but Rademaker, who was in the front passenger seat, is known to be on the list. Weigel, who was in a back seat, is not.
Asked about a compensation fund set up by GM and administered by Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington lawyer who has run several other high-profile funds, Weigel said: "My lawyer has talked with Ken Feinberg and he told him it is not fair compensation."
In a separate telephone conversation, Weigel attorney Bob Hilliard acknowledged he had talked with Feinberg and that the offer was "not fair. I will wait to see how the plan works and then evaluate it."
He did not say how much the offer was but added, "I am conservatively hopeful, perhaps skeptical, that it will be appropriate."