Sunday, August 30, 2009
A Major Victory, but the War Continues
With Congress in recess throughout August not much has happened in regards to advocating for myself and the other victim's of Chrysler and GM. The only real effort that I was involved in this month was writing letters to each of the members of Chrysler's Board of Directors. Mom and Dad, and several other victims of Chrysler vehicles, wrote letters as well. The goal of the letters was to get the Board of Directors to realize the safety risks created by not accepting responsibility for pending claims and the safety of their 31 million pre-bankruptcy vehicles that are currently on the road.
Now, imagine my surprise to learn that Chrysler has finally accepted responsibility for future claims caused by defective pre-bankruptcy vehicles! This is a major victory, but the war continues. Unfortunately they are still refusing to address pending claims. The safety of 31 million vehicle owners has been restored. That is one of the goals that we set out to achieve. Whether our efforts had anything to do with Chrysler's change of heart or not, I am extremely proud to feel like a part of it. I do know that this would not have happened without the support of Senators and Congressmen. Which shows me that our voices can make a difference and motivates me to continue fighting. The war will not be over until the people who have been injured, the people who have been fighting this fight, get to argue our cases against Chrysler and GM in court.
My hope is that this turn of events will make it easier to legislation through congress to support the victims of both Chrysler and GM. Now that Chrysler has accepted future claims the number of people who have been injured by these companies, and abused by the federal bankruptcy process, is a solid number. Ron Bloom, from the President's Auto Task Force has previously stated that they won't write endless checks to the people who have been injured by these companies. Well, now we're only talking about approximately 1300 people, and that number could be reduced by allowing these cases to be heard in court.
I'm not sure what happens at this point. Now the game board has changed dramatically. However, the issue is much clearer. Those of us who have been injured, or lost family members, as a result of defective Chrysler or GM vehicles have also lost our right to hold these companies accountable through the bankruptcy process that was funded with our tax dollars! Our Congress must pass legislation that allows our cases to be heard in court and provides appropriate financial recovery for our losses. Currently the only proposed legislation is H.R. 3088, The Jeremy Warriner Consumer Protection Act (it still feels weird to say that!). The Bill may need to be changed to adjust for the new situation. A companion bill, or some other legislation still needs to be introduced in the Senate. More importantly, we must gain as many co-sponsors as possible for the legislation. (H.R. 3088 only has four co-sponsors.) We need to get as many people as possible to talk to their Congressmen and Senators offices about this issue.
As I learn more details about what is happening in Washington I will let you know how you can help. Right now the most important thing is to talk about it with family, friends, and co-workers. Build support, find out who is concerned about it, and ask them to speak up when we know what's happening with the legislation.