TODAY

TODAY   |  April 02, 2014

Crash victim’s mom on GM: It’s a ‘total cover-up’

Renee Trautwein, who lost her daughter Sarah in an accident involving a Chevrolet Cobalt, tells TODAY that the car’s airbags never deployed, a sign that the ignition may have switched off due to the faulty part at the center of GM’s recall.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> sara in an accident five years ago, involving a 2005 chevy cobalt . sarah was killed instantly when her car went off the road and hit a tree. her air bags never deployed, a sign her ignition may have switched off due to the faulty part at the center of this recall. the cause of their daughter's accident is now under new investigation. renee is here along with phil, who was sara 's brother. good morning to both of you.

>> good morning.

>> renee, i watched you watch that piece and you were there yesterday for the testimony of the gm ceo. how did it strike you? did you find any satisfaction?

>> none. in fact, it made me more upset.

>> why is that?

>> because she was scripted. no answer. no answers were given. it's a cover-up. a terrible cover-up. it's obvious. i think what amazed me the most, we are new to this. we just found out last friday. and there was a front impact. but the fact that everyone from gm is still there to me is amazing.

>> five days ago, a week ago, you were still believing that your daughter sara had fallen asleep at the wheel five years ago. then you started hearing about this gm recall. what made you suspicious?

>> it was haunting me. like sara was saying, mom, i didn't fall asleep at the wheel . because i'd been mad at her. and i think she's finally saying, mom, stop. anyway, we looked into it, i brought the kids into it. i called my brother and said i have one question because i've never seen the car. i've been really weak through all of this. and i asked him if the air bags were open. and he said no.

>> what's it like to have this wound reopened? you both have suffered this unfathomable loss i'm sure is with you every single day. but to think that perhaps the circumstances of her death were different, that it may have been caused by this faulty ignition switch, what is it like to go through that and think about that?

>> it's hard. because we thought we had an answer. and we were coping with the fact she died peacefully and while she was sleeping at the wheel. and now, for us, as a family, we have to think about what was her last thought. was she fighting for her life? was she trying to get out of the car? and for us, that's something we'll never know. and that's when gm took away from us. so for us, it's tough.

>> you were at the meeting the other night, mary barra sat down with some of the families here. do you give her credit for holding that meeting? or did you find her to be sincere?

>> no on both answers. again, it was scripted. no dry eye in the room except mary. her lawyer offered her a kleenex, which she never used. no, i was not -- i felt it was a waste of my time. i felt i was there more for a group parent session of our grief than anything to do with gm trying to make up to us for it.

>> and quickly, you are part of a class action lawsuit against gm, what are you hoping to come out of it?

>> i'm hoping criminal charges. i'm hoping these cars mostly right now are taken off the road immediately. there are still 2.5 million of these automobiles. i want gm to get on breaking news, tell everyone to take their cars now,