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Congress focuses on General Motors safety issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKZO) -- Lawmakers want to know why General Motors' deadly safety defects went unaddressed for years.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey accused GM of seeking to hide deadly safety defects from millions of drivers. In a Capitol news conference, Markey said a massive GM recall is more than a decade late. Faulty ignition switches are blamed for more than a dozen deaths in the U.S. and Canada.

GM CEO Mary Barra is spending a good chunk of the week on Capitol Hill, testifying in congressional hearings. Barra took the helm of GM in January.

Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal called on GM to create a hefty compensation fund for victims' families. He called GM an iconic American company and urged GM to "do the right thing."

California Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman said GM "did nothing" after discovering a "disturbing pattern" with their vehicles. Colorado Democratic Congresswoman Diana DeGette said the victims will not be forgotten and vowed that Congress will take action.