Pinto. Explorer. Cobalt?

Capitol Hill's reaction to General Motors CEO Mary Barra's testimony last week sent a clear signal to Washington insiders: Congress is probably headed toward a round of reforms to U.S. laws and standards, like the ones enacted after the Chevy Corvair, Ford Pinto and Ford Explorer came to symbolize some of the worst auto safety crises in U.S. history.

The coming changes are hard to predict, but when the dust settles and reforms are complete, an entire industry may end up feeling the impact of GM's errors.

Barra vowed to return to Capitol Hill after an internal GM investigation is complete in 45 to 60 days. Separate inquiries by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation also will influence Congress' path forward.

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Automakers Have Only Themselves To Blame For Increased Government Oversight To Come

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