General Motors is the victim of a partisan political attack, with Democrats swirling around the troubled carmaker, says Henry Payne, Pulitzer Prize-nominated editorial cartoonist and auto critic for the Detroit News.
"There are two big constituencies at play here for the Democratic Party and General Motors. The company was bailed out by the Obama administration in 2009 ... the United Auto Workers is a source of a huge amount of money to Democratic campaigns," Payne told Ed Berliner, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"[The union is] one of the biggest contributors, and the second-biggest contributor to Democratic campaigns is trial lawyers . . . [which have] a huge interest in suing General Motors.
"The top senators you see grandstanding before the press right now . . . all received huge contributions from the trial lobby. So, there's a lot of money at stake here for Democrats," he said Tuesday.
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GM has recalled millions of Chevy Cobalts because of a faulty ignition switch linked to crashes that have reportedly caused as many as 13 deaths.
Still, Payne says U.S.-made cars are safer than they have ever been before.
"If you look across the averages, the JD Power averages, the Consumer Report averages of defects per car, they are at their lowest level in history," Payne said.
"So, what you're seeing today in these recalls is a hyper-competitive market of manufacturers trying to get it right when there are defects . . . We're killing less people on the roads than ever before.
"So, these products are safer than ever at the same time that the digital revolution has allowed these companies to retain more data than ever so they can track down these problems and they can issue recalls and get the things right and correct the things they got wrong when they're on the assembly line."
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