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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Not a Normal Investigation; Two Possible Routes; Search for MH370; Looking for Clues; Crisis in Crimea; Russia's Stock Market; Europe, US Markets Down
Aired March 14, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
RICHARD QUEST, HOST: So the week has come to an end just before St. Patrick's Day. The market was down very marginally in what was a turbulent week on the stock markets. When they hit the hammer, I tell you, it's Friday, the 14th of March.
Tonight, no answers. Investigators are widening their search and their theories. We're talking about Malaysia Flight 370.
No common vision. Last-minute talks between Russia and the US, they fail despite some rosy gardens.
And GM recoils over recalls. It slams a report linking 300 deaths to faulty airbags.
I'm Richard Quest. It's a Friday, and I mean business.
Good evening. These are the words that tell it all. "This is not a normal investigation." The Malaysian government's own frank admission, as Flight Malaysian Airlines 370 evolves into one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history.
"This is not a normal investigation." These were the words of the minister at the press conference in Kuala Lumpur, and tonight, there's suspicion that the Boeing 777 was deliberately flown way off course.
And there's new information, which we'll tell you in this program, about the routes it may have taken out towards the Andaman Sea. It's all forced the Malaysians to widen their search, because "this is not a normal investigation."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HISHAMMUDDIN BIN HUSSEIN, ACTING MALAYSIAN MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION: We want nothing more than to find the plane as quickly as possible, but the circumstances have forced us to widen our search.
A normal investigation becomes narrower with time, I understand, as new information focuses on the search, but this is not a normal investigation. In this case, the information we have forces us to look further and further afield.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That "further and further afield" is in two distinct areas. China is now searching a much larger area for signs of the aircraft, into the Indian Ocean and into the west and east and west of the South China Sea.
I'm going to show you exactly how this now pans out. So, we have an extended area over here. We have a much more increased effort over here. And now, there is a greater effort coming down here. And CNN is reporting this evening that the plane potentially took one of two routes as it flew. You'll hear Barbara Starr in this program talking about it.
One of those routes, after the plane went there, could have taken it up toward the Bay of Bengal. The other takes it out into the Indian Ocean. In either way, just to make this clear, the focus of attention, the international search effort is growing, with 57 ships and 48 aircrafts in this area and remains, of course, in this area.
But this is the one that is attracting attention tonight of all those ships and aircraft involved from 13 different countries. You see, Reuters has been reporting that the pilot may have followed navigational waypoints. Let me show you exactly what they are and how those navigational waypoints actually move.
The navigational waypoints that you can see in red here, we have the flight path that it should have taken. Now, what I'm going to show you here, Reuters is saying that those -- the route it took, instead of going up, came out and followed these navigational waypoints, Gival, Vampi, and Igrex. They're called the various waypoints along the way.
The deactivation of the transponder baffled investigators on the way. In fact, there are so many theories in play -- hijacking, pilot error -- and American officials looking at risks from lithium batteries in the cargo hold.
And on top of that, you have this story about tonight whether or not the actual plane took one of two routes. Let's go to Kuala Lumpur for the latest. Andrew Stevens is there this evening. So, Andrew, I need you to make some common sense of what we know tonight.
ANDERW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the common sense at the moment is your headline, "This is not a normal investigation." There is nothing normal here.
After eight days, Richard -- we're now into our eighth day of the search, and investigators still say everything is on the table. Everything -- all those theories you mentioned, all those suppositions. Was it a hijack? Was there a catastrophic failure which allowed the plane to continue for some time and then just fly off into the ocean? Did the pilot take control of the plane? It goes on and on.
The frustrating thing is that it is just conjecture at the moment. We get the reports from Reuters you're talking about, did the pilot fly the plane into the Andaman Sea using these waypoints? The Malaysian authorities won't comment.
The pings we've been talking about, the fact that an unidentified plane was talking automatically or signals were being picked up at least --
STEVENS: -- from this plane five -- in five separate points, that came out 24 hour ago. Yet today, we put that question very specifically to the Malaysian authorities. All they will say is "We are aware of those reports."
So, everything is still on the table. The search gets ever wider, and just interestingly on that search point, you look at what you're talking about, there are specific leads being followed here. But what the Malaysians will only say is that we are increasingly widening the scope of our search because we have closed off certain others because we've combed them so thoroughly.
So, we're widening there because we've searched here and we can't find anything. Not because we're covering specific leads.
QUEST: Andrew, I'm going -- I just wanted to look at this map, because Barbara Starr tonight is reporting that there are two potential distinct tracks that this plane may have taken once it was at its last known point.
The first might have been out towards the Bay of Bengal. You'll have seen her reporting. The second still takes the plane into the Indian Ocean. So the question is this: which do you think is getting primacy in the search? Is it the Indian Ocean or is it the South China Sea?
STEVENS: I think it's definitely the Indian Ocean. I think the -- that is -- from what we can pull together, the strands we can pull together from Kuala Lumpur, Richard, is that the pings we've been talking about, another unidentified radar -- primary radar image, which picked up some object which correlates to this plane heading back west across Malaysia, out towards the Indian Ocean.
That seems to be where most of the harder facts, if you like, are currently pointing. Again, very difficult to say, because it is such a fluid situation. As you know, we keep on coming up with different theories, with different ideas of what may have happened.
Just today, we had comments from the Chinese University saying that there was an event, a seabed event, a seismic event very close to the route that plane was taking in the South China Sea --
STEVENS: -- which -- and the timing of that event coincided with when the plane disappeared from radar. And this is a non-seismic area, so that's another lead that they have to look out.
QUEST: Andrew Stevens in Kuala Lumpur. It is quarter past 5:00 in the morning in KL. The planes will be going up soon, no doubt, to continue their search. Andrew, we thank you.
David Gallo co-led the team in the successful search for Air France Flight 447. He's the director of special projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. David joins us now, live from Falmouth in Massachusetts. So, if -- David, good to see you, thank you sir. If --
DAVID GALLO, OCEANOGRAPHER: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: If we are talking now about this area up to the Bay of Bengal, into the Indian Ocean, what sort of waters, what sort of depths, what sort of territory are we talking about?
GALLO: Yes, Richard, initially, it was very relatively simple. It was shallow water, shallower than the plane is long, 200 feet deep. And now, if it's in the Bay of Bengal, it could be the sediment covering coming from the -- sediments coming from the Ganges River and water that could be from island, zero, a beach, all the way down to two or three miles, depending on where you go.
If we move further west into the Indian Ocean and the Arabia Sea, then you're talking about a rugged volcanic terrain. So, we really need to have a better idea where X marks the spot on the ocean. And I'm afraid with every day that goes by, we're losing that opportunity to find some bit of floating debris that will help us find that spot.
QUEST: Now, to be absolutely clear, there is no point in sending sonar pinging receivers, submarines, all those sort of things, because it's such a vast area, that wouldn't pick it up. There's no point, you've got to find the debris field first. Is that right, David?
GALLO: Well, if there's active -- you know that -- some people really believe in the pingers, and they're welcome to that, and you can try doing that in the absence of doing anything else.
I do think it's important to look beneath the last known position that we had initially in the Gulf of Thailand just to be sure that it's not there, because at this point, even knowing where it's not is important information so we can cross that off.
It's also important to start collecting environmental data -- winds, tides, currents, things like that -- instead of models, actually getting out and measuring it, in the hopes that we will find something floating on the surface.
Because at this point, we're going to have to backtrack over a week in time. That's a difficult thing to do. Ideally, what we want to do is nail down that -- make that haystack as tiny as possible --
GALLO: -- to find the bits of that needle. And right now, the search area is bigger than the entire North Atlantic.
QUEST: Right, now, but --
GALLO: So, it's --
QUEST: But David, I've read -- I covered and I read -- you were involved 447, and the thing that struck me about 447 -- which of course was over in the South Atlantic, not on our map here -- what struck me there is that they found the debris field, and in the search for the plane, they went over it several times without realizing.
But it was only on the fourth search -- the fourth and final search two years later that they located it. So, what does that tell you about what we're involved with here?
GALLO: Well, there were different teams, and the first group was looking - - listening with a hydrophone for sounds of that pinger, and the water there is very deep. The ocean plays a lot of games with sound.
With a thermal layer, with a hill, a valley, rugged mountainous terrain, any of that stuff can send sound in all different directions. So, on paper it looks great. In reality, it's difficult. You've really got to know what you're doing.
We looked -- the reason that we found the plane, did something that no people thought -- most people thought was impossible. We had the right team, we had a lot of time to think about the plan, and we had some very new technology in the form of some very sophisticated robots.
And we went about it in a very methodical way. Long, boring lines, up a mile or two or three or ten, even, over a hundred yards, and then back again, and then up again. So, it was almost like plowing a field.
GALLO: Because we wanted to be sure that when we left an area that that plane was not there, that we didn't miss it.
QUEST: Are you -- no easy way to say this -- are you getting ready to dust off your equipment and head out to there? Because if they can't find the plane, you're back in business, David.
GALLO: Richard, I'll tell you what. It's -- what got us into the Air France mission was the plight of the families, the loved ones, and the friends of the victims of that air crash, 228.
And in this case, 239. And you know, it seems like we're forgetting that. We keep saying we're trying to find this plane, but right now, there's also 239 souls aboard that plane.
I can tell you that the team has been talking more and more every day, we're chatting amongst ourselves trying to understand what's going on. We have offered through the State Department to help if we're needed.
I think we can help, I really do, even to say about our experiences with Air France 447, but we've got to get something to hold onto, some clue.
On Air France, we had the last known position, we had floating debris, and we had ACARS data that only lasted four minutes then cut off abruptly, so we knew roughly -- it was a big search area, 40 miles in radius, but at least we had something to cling to. So, we have to wait until we have something a little bit more until we can bring our expertise to bear.
QUEST: David, I'm so grateful that you've been with us and you've given us time tonight to give us your expertise. Thank you so much, sir. We'll talk again.
GALLO: Thank you very much, Richard.
QUEST: I appreciate it.
GALLO: My pleasure.
QUEST: Very much. There's so much being spoken about this, so much maybe misinformation, maybe just confusion. But the truth is, whether it -- whether it's waypoints out into there, or it's up towards the Bengal, the Bay of Bengal, whichever one it is, you'll find it out -- you'll find out what's happening here on CNN. We're back in a moment.
QUEST: There are two distinct questions that have to be asked: the where, which of course is what we've been doing in the first part of this program, and the why. As conspiracy theories and speculation fills the void of hard facts, we do have to consider the why, if only because at some point, the why will become the story, once they've sorted out the where.
From Washington, let's bring in the former investigator with the NTSB, Tom Haueter. Tom, we're going to do our level best not to leave the realms of reality here and go into the supernatural, but we do need to look at the whys.
When you are presented with the sort of facts like we've got tonight -- a change of direction, the opposite direction, a long flight into the middle of nowhere -- what do you come up with?
TOM HAUETER, FORMER NTSB INVESTIGATOR: Well, it's very difficult, because what we have is a lack of facts in many areas. We know the fact of when the transponder ended. And apparently from radar data, we know the airplane turned around and headed west across the peninsula. From where the ships are now positioning to look, it appears they have a little bit better information.
Now, you get in some issues. I can explain one turn, the turn back around. But after an hour or so, major deviations are more difficult to explain in terms of something with the aircraft. That becomes more like there's some -- someone's manipulated the controls.
QUEST: Right. Right. So, what we come down to, I think we can pretty much sort this through, what you come down to is a spectrum which has at one end nefarious, illegal activity and at the other end has incapacity for whatever reason that -- but the plane continues to fly. Does that sound like a reasonable spectrum?
HAUETER: It does. But I also think of incapacitation, there was an event with an aircraft from Cyprus to Athens where the crew forgot to engage a pressurization system. Everybody basically passed out. But towards the end of the flight, somebody did make it forward and start to manipulate the controls.
So, everything's possible here. And without more data, we're stuck in this realm of not knowing which way to go. The most important thing is to start finding wreckage --
HAUETER: -- and start finding out where this airplane went to.
QUEST: In that case, in the Helios case, if I'm not mistaken -- and you'll correct me if I'm wrong, and feel free to -- it was actually a flight attendant --
HAUETER: You're absolutely correct.
QUEST: It was the male flight attendant who came to, got to the cockpit, and the fighter jets escorting that plane could see. It was a terrible, terrible --
HAUETER: You're absolutely correct, yes it wa.
QUEST: Right. So -- so, let's talk about, then, the significance. Since I quite agree with you, there's been way too much rampant speculation everywhere on this. Let's talk about the significance of finding the why, and why you can't just -- why they can never just ramp down and not find this plane.
HAUETER: Oh, you absolutely can't. The significance is we have to find out why so we can prevent the next time. And whether that's changing something in security, changing something designed in the aircraft, it's changing something in how pilots are trained, that's why we have to know what happened here, because we don't want this to happen again.
QUEST: Right. But Tom, I'm going to put the nasty question to you that people have put to me, because I took your view. It's not a question of if they find, it's when they find.
QUEST: So I now say to you, in these circumstances, they may never find the plane.
HAUETER: I disagree. I think they will. It's going to take time, it's going to take a lot of effort. The big issue is it's going to take a lot of money, potentially. But I think they'll find it. I've been in a couple of investigations where people thought they couldn't be solved. We did. It took time and it took a lot of effort, and that's what's going to be needed here.
QUEST: Tom, I'm very grateful for your common sense tonight. Thank you very much for putting it into perspective for us.
HAUETER: Thank you very much.
QUEST: Thank you. So, you've heard the where. They're looking on the Indian Ocean, and that seems to be the main source of discovery at the moment. You've heard the why, all sorts of options are on the table.
When we come back after the break, we'll change direction completely. The US secretary of state John Kerry and the Russian foreign minister spent five hours talking today. The Crimea referendum is this weekend. In a moment.
QUEST: Crimea's controversial referendum is on Sunday. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, today warned Moscow any attempt to annex Crimea after the vote would bring, in his words, "significant consequences for Russia."
Russia and the West continue to battle about the validity of the referendum. Even after five hours of talks today between Mr. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, Moscow and Washington remain very far on the part of the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The negotiations were useful. The Crimea was discussed as well. We reiterated that we are going to respect the will of the Crimean people at the referendum on the 16th of March.
JOHN KERRY, US SECRETARY OF STATE: We believe the referendum is contrary to the constitution of Ukraine, is contrary to international law, is in violation of that law, and we believe it is illegitimate. And as the president put it, illegal under the Ukrainian constitution. Neither we nor the international community will recognize the results of this referendum.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: John Kerry. Our world affairs correspondent Elise Labott has more from London.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN WORLD AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was 11th hour showdown between the US and Russia ahead of Sunday's referendum on Crimea. Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov spent six hours together Friday. There were intense talks broken up by long walks, but they failed to reach an agreement on how to end the crisis over the disputed Crimea region.
Secretary Kerry came to arm with a variety of formulas approved by Ukraine's interim government on how Crimeans could enjoy the most autonomy they really have ever had while staying part of the sovereign Ukraine. But the Russians didn't bite. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
LAVROV (through translator): With regard to the constitutional reform, this is very, very important. Also as to the practical measures, which could be taken by foreign partners of Ukraine, we don't have a common vision of the situation.
There are still differences, but the conversation was definitely useful in order to better understand how we understand each other in the situation and the general context on the wide spectrum of the issues.
LABOTT: Well, Lavrov said that President Putin would not take a decision on what to do in Crimea until the referendum takes place. And Secretary Kerry said for that, Russia will pay a price. Take a listen.
KERRY: The president has made it clear there will be consequences if Russia does not find a way to change course. And we don't say that as a threat. We say that as a direct consequence of the choices that Russia may or may not choose to make here.
If Russia does establish facts on the ground that increase tensions or that threaten the Ukrainian people, then obviously, that will beg an even greater response, and there will be costs.
LABOTT: But Secretary Kerry did leave the door open. He said that those consequences could be, quote, "calibrated" if diplomacy continues. The US is hoping that President Putin will accept victory if Crimea just votes to rejoin Russia, but that Moscow doesn't take official moves to annex the region.
Kerry is warning that if Russia takes any moves to further escalate the conflict, such as moving its troops towards Eastern Ukraine, it could get very ugly very fast.
Elise Labott, CNN, London.
QUEST: So, "significant consequences" and there will be a price to be paid. For investors in Russia, that price may already be paying paid. Come have a look at the market with me over at the super screen.
This is Moscow's MICEX index on major barometers. If we look and see how it's performed over the course of the month so far, well, you don't really need to look that closely, do you? It gets to a high of 1357, and then you have this constant fall.
The fall has trailed off a little bit, but we're down now at around 1230 and 1240 on the MICEX index. And it fell further this session on these continued uncertainty. The Russian shares and the ruble has taken battering as well overall. You can see exactly how things have been moving along.
To the European markets now, and how they have traded during the course of the week. The euro bourses were down quite sharply. The Zurich SMI was off the best part of -- well, more than 1 percent.
US stocks also finished lower. The big board, Dow Jones Industrials. Now look at this: in a week where we have tended to see one particular direction, that's rather unusual. We're up in the morning at the open -- well no, actually, we're down at the open, we're up mid-morning.
Lunch time is down, up again, down again, up again, down again, up again, down again, up again, and down again, all the way to the close. Not huge moves, down just 43 points at 16,000. The market for the week. We'll have more -- that's an interesting graph -- after the break.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. This is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first. Malaysia's widening the hunt for flight 370 a week after it disappeared with 239 souls on board. The search area is expanded, and now encompasses more of the South China Sea to the east and it pushes further into the Indian Ocean on the west -- all the way up to the Bay of Bengal on faint clues the plane changed course.
No deal between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine. The two nation' top diplomats say the gulf between their positions has widened. This weekend of course there's the referendum on Crimea's split from Ukraine and that's (inaudible). In the last hour Ukraine has set the colonel in charge of the military hospital of its ministry of foreign affairs has been kidnapped.
On day ten of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, a witness for the prosecution may have helped the defense instead. A police commander on the crime scene said he walked in on a ballistics expert handling the gung without gloves. The court also saw more pictures from the night of the shooting. In one of them, the Olympian was seen shirtless and covered in blood in his garage, soon after he was shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp. He admits the shooting, but he says it was by accident.
A new report has linked more than 300 deaths to 40 airbags in General Motors cars. The Center for Auto Safety released official data on crashes involving GM models which are now being recalled. The automaker says the study misrepresents the raw information.
Now to the latest developments on the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Barbara Starr, our Pentagon correspondent, joins me now. Barbara, there's a lot we need to talk about, not least, your reporting of the twin tracks of this plane. But also there is this report tonight in "The New York Times" -- you're familiar I believe with this story that is now going around. "The New York Times" has this story that the aircraft went through significant altitude changes and -- after it lost its transponder contact. We'll come to "The New York Times" in a moment. Let's talk about what you know from what your sources have told you on the route and tracks that the plane took.
BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN, BASED IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: Well Richard, what we now know is there's a classified analysis that was done in cooperation -- the Malaysians, the U.S. government, the FAA -- Federal Aviation Administration -- , the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and some military imagery analysts.
Looking at all of the data that they do have -- that includes a radar hit, that includes some of those satellite pings we've talked about from the aircraft picked up by the Emars (ph) constellation. The beginning of the data sort of being pieced together on the information they got about at least partially where the plane was and how it was flying, how long it may have been flying -- five hours out into the Indian Ocean. They have put all of that together and the analysts have come up with two search areas in the Indian Ocean. One is essentially a northern area. That is the Bay of Bengal.
They believe it is possible -- possible -- when the plane crossed back over the Malay Peninsula, it made a turn to the northwest, might've gone into the Bay of Bengal. The Indian military and some U.S. military assets searching there now. The other option -- again based on the data, based on the analysis -- that it possibly crossed the Malay Peninsula and made a southeasterly turn, flying some period of time to the southeast. The U.S. Navy is searching there. What it tells us, Richard, is they've begun to be able to narrow down where in the Indian Ocean their best chances for now may be of finding a debris field.
STARR: The Indian Ocean, vast (inaudible) search, the whole thing. Now they've begun to narrow it down.
QUEST: OK, Barbara, I'm just going to go to the -- I'm just going to go to the map -- what we have in the studio. So that -- stay with me, Barbara, because I've just got to put some interpretation into this. We've still got Barbara -
STARR: You bet.
QUEST: -- Starr with us at the moment. So, we're looking at two very distinct areas here, aren't we, Barbara? We're looking up towards the Bay of Bengal and where it would've almost hit the -- gone over the tip of Thailand and then out towards the main part of the Indian Ocean. Is that correct?
STARR: Well, a little bit to the southeast perhaps into -- sort of think it as starting somewhere between Sri Lanka on the west and Banda Aceh, Indonesia on the east. So that would be the northern tip of this southern box, and it would move down a fair bit, --
STARR: About 600 miles down, perhaps.
QUEST: Right. Now -
STARR: So, it's huge but at least begins to give you some shape of where you're looking.
QUEST: Now, let me just factor into this, Barbara. Let me just factor into what we've been talking about here. The report from "The New York Times," which you may or may not be -- have read in some detail. But that report says that the plane climbed to 45,000 feet and then as it went out over Penang, descended to 23,000 -- the key phrase here is uneven, uneven climbing and falling and then goes out into the sea. Now this is "The New York Times" reporting this. What do you make of it? I mean, obviously it's their sources.
STARR: Right. Well, you're a better expert than me by far on this, Richard. I mean, I don't know. I think the question is, you know, can a plane on its own engage in such wild gyrations and then simply just crash into the sea. (Inaudible) any indication perhaps of some overt act, some human intervention. It just gets back to we do not know. I think that's where we are.
QUEST: And what we have -- you and I have -- been talking about is this -- the -- importance here of the where the plane is, not why, and the speculation of how it got there. Barbara, thank you very much for just bringing us up to date on this breaking news of tonight. Let me just recap what we've known tonight. Barbara Starr there saying the route upon which the plane look has now -- she has solid intelligence information -- that the plane made two distinct -- from here -- one which takes it out that way, the other towards the Bay of Bengal, the other brings it more over here and towards Banda Aceh and that sort of areas as well. But it does mean -- it does mean -- that you have very much two distinct areas which of course means that they are not searching the vast swathes of the Indian Ocean as you all might think. It's very carefully controlled. And then you have this "New York Times" report which says the plane climbed and fell unevenly and there are -- there's data to show the altitude was moving dramatically. We will have more. This is "Quest Means Business" after the break.
QUEST: A new report has linked more than 300 deaths to 40 airbags in General Motors' vehicles. The Center for Auto Safety released official data on crashes involving recalled GM cars. The auto giant says the study misrepresents the raw information. Last month the company recalled nearly 1.6 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches which could turn off the engine, disabling the airbags. As Maggie Lake tells us, this is the first major test of the firm's new chief exec.
MAGGIE LAKE, BUSINESS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: She is the CEO at the center of a huge auto safety nightmare. Just two months on the job, Mary Barra is heading up GM's massive ignition switch recall, and the stakes couldn't be higher.
Male: This is probably the last thing she wanted to have to deal with in her first few weeks, or her first couple of months on the job.
MARY BARRA, CEO, GENERAL MOTORS: Automotive is -- it's kind of in my blood.
LAKE: Barra is the first woman to head up a U.S. car company, but she's been climbing the GM corporate ladder for over 30 years. She's been executive director of vehicle manufacturing engineering at GM, and most recently GM's executive VP of global product development. Barra says she became aware of the safety issues quotes "A few weeks ago" and says GM ordered the recall without hesitation. But GM's own records show its engineers were aware of a problem as early as 2004. The company says quote, "The chronology shows that the process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it should have been." And for this reason Barra's long-time insider status could put her in a tough spot.
Male: It's going to be difficult for her to maybe distance herself from this crisis because she can't just come out and say 'well, this was under someone else's watch."
LAKE: Adding to Barra's problems, a Justice Department criminal probe into whether GM hid evidence about defects, upcoming hearings on Capitol Hill as well lawsuits from victims' families and shareholders. As Toyota found out four years ago during its massive recall for unintended vehicle acceleration, Congress likes to go for the jugular.
JAY ROCKEFELLER, U.S. SENATOR: It saddens me deeply that it seems somewhere along the way, public safety decreased in value as profit margins soared.
LAKE: Toyota's market share tumbled during its crisis as did their reputation. GM investors are clearly worried. Shares have fallen more than 15 percent this year. Crisis management experts say the quicker Barra speaks out, the better.
Male: There's a trickle of information that keeps coming, it keeps GM in the headlines. The company will be better off getting all -- as many of the facts out as it possibly can to look transparent. She has to get out there and talk to the public.
LAKE: But some believe GM lawyers might hold their cards close.
Male: The fact that the company has announced that it needs to do its own internal investigation means that there are lot of things that they're trying to figure out. It's premature I think -- to kind of just throwing Barra out to the sharks that the media can be.
LAKE: At January's Detroit Auto Show, Barra hammered home the importance of building customer trust.
BARRA: At today's GM, our products are the result of putting the customer at the center of everything we do.
LAKE: But if this crisis deepens, GM's mark of excellence could be tainted for years. Maggie Lake, CNN New York.
QUEST: A lawyer brought in to overhaul safety at the Fukushima plant says "Workers need to grasp a questioning attitude." Our conversation with Lady Barbara Judge in just a moment. It has been three years since Japan suffered its largest recorded earthquake and tsunami. This caused loss of cooling and partial meltdown for three -- in three reactor units at Fukushima. It was eventually classified as level seven -- the highest on the international radar scale. In Tokyo, on the anniversary, people stood in silence to remember those who lost their lives. The plant's owners Tepco have also observed a silence.
Lady Barbara Judge says she's taken steps to change the safety culture and restore public confidence since the tragedy three years ago.
LADY BARBARA JUDGE, HEAD OF SAFETY, TEPCO: What I hope to put in place is the Nuclear Safety Oversight Office which is made up of professionals who have the job of trying to change the safety culture inside of Tepco. We've also started something which is called the Task Force on Nuclear Safety, bringing in foreigners from America, from France, from Sweden, from the U.K. who are safety experts in their own right. And we are trying to change the culture from the top down so that everyone within the organization will think about safety first. Before that, they had a culture of efficiency. So they thought about power generation, power generation. Now, they have to think about --
JUDGE: -- safety first.
QUEST: There's an argument that would say though, if you're having to teach them a culture of safety first, by all means go ahead and do it, but don't let them switch the reactors on until they've learned it.
JUDGE: Well I think in fact the reactors that we are trying to work on switching -- after the accident, as you know, there was a new regulator set up which was going to enforce very high safety standards -- the highest safety standards. And there are 48 closed down reactors in Japan, and about 17 have reapplied to have their own safety -- the safety of their reactors checked by the new regulator. And no reactor will start until the new regulator believes that the reactor and the operators can meet these high safety standards.
QUEST: What is for you the single biggest thing that they must now do? Because you've just come back from the country, you've seen it for yourself, you are -- by your own comments you are impressed by what you saw, but please tell me what you think they really need to grasp.
JUDGE: What I think they really need to grasp is a questioning attitude, an attitude on all the employees' side that when something untoward happens, they stop. They don't keep going. An example is, and it's an example for everybody -- if you're in your car and you hear a rattle, most of the time you just keep going until there's a break down and still there's a problem and still something goes wrong that you can see. That's efficiency. You want to get to where you're going. A culture of safety is if you're in your car and you hear a rattle, you stop the car. You go and look for what's wrong. You may lose time, you may be late, but you go and find out what's wrong before anybody goes anywhere. If you look at the airline industry actually, --
JUDGE: -- you know how sometimes we're all aggravated because a speaker doesn't work and they stop the plane and we can't go anywhere? That's because over the years the airline industry has got a culture of safety. They won't go farther -
JUDGE: -- until everything is perfect.
QUEST: And that was Lady Barbara Judge who's leading the Tepco -- or one part of the Tepco inquiry. And the weather forecast now. It's the weekend is upon us. Your weekend may well already have been underway depending where you are. Jenny Harrison's at the World Weather Center.
JENNY HARRISON, WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: Richard, yes, as you say, some pretty good weather if we're looking first of all at Europe. Now, I say good weather. Central region -- high pressure still very much in control, but there's a bit of a change as we head through the middle (inaudible) end of the weekend. You'll see how this cloud has been streaming in over the last few hours. It's been bringing with it some rain, not necessarily a bad thing. I know, after all the rain we've had, but even so it may not be. This is that area that Richard was so fond of at this time yesterday, and is that cut off low. So we'll continue to keep an eye on that to see how much rain it will actually produce.
But with that -- clear skies, high pressure -- look at these temperatures. Once again Paris this Friday, 19 Celsius -- the average is 12, 18 in Frankfurt, 17 in London, 16 in Brussels, so anything from what 6 to 8 degrees above the average, and it's going stay pretty nice throughout the next couple of days. Most of the rain will still (wade) to the north, and it'll still be mild with some nice sunshine across much of -- really pretty much everywhere else across in Europe. And here's a nice picture for you at Paris. This was taken a couple of days ago. You can see the good, clear skies, everybody out there, no leaves on the trees yet of course because it's a little bit early for that and magnolias are blooming very nicely -
QUEST: Now, hang on, hang on, Ms. Harrison.
HARRISON: Oh, what? Yes.
QUEST: The main (inaudible), that was the magnolia, wasn't it?
HARRISON: That's what I said -- a magnolia tree, yes.
QUEST: Yes, well I was just -- I was enjoying the magnolia.
HARRISON: Oh, sorry. Well, you might have enjoyed it back then, Richard. Would you enjoy it right now because, look -- this is what the Eiffel Tower looks like now. You can barely see it through all the smog and the haze and this is really all due to the pollution levels -
HARRISON: -- which are particularly bad right now in Paris. In fact, if you measure it on the scale, it is actually in the red areas. So this is considered obviously unhealthy. Now, you're used to seeing this of course in Beijing, and we have it very typically this time of year. But, can you believe Beijing's air quality is actually better -- it's in the moderate currently -- category -- that's the word -- than this of course the unhealthy in Paris. Now, the reason for this is the same reason we get this problem in Beijing. And it's because we've got high pressure in control, so we've got these very light winds, and you have this very, very stagnant air mass. And I mentioned yesterday, public transport has been made free Friday and Saturday. They're asking the public not to use their cars, avoid any strenuous activity outside, restrictions of all commercial vehicles and then also, if you have got to use your car, they're reducing the speed limit to try and reduce emissions there, no outdoor fires of any type -- the agricultural chimney or any sort of burning of trash.
And just quickly, Richard, let me just end on this then -- you can see all these cities -- it's not just Paris, even some places across in the U.K. have got a very poor air quality right now because of that high pressure. The good news, Richard, the winds are going to really be picking up, so it'll help to shift all of this dirty, bad polluted air.
QUEST: Fascinating. Jenny, my mother was saying it's very nice in London. She went and sat out in the park.
HARRISON: Oh, it is, it's warm and glorious on the weekend -- 17 on Saturday, 18 on Sunday, sunny skies. She's going to have a nice weekend.
QUEST: And the Magnolia looks beautiful. Let's have some more magnolia next week.
QUEST: I do like it with the magnolia. All right, when we come back, the power of cult following -- fans pool their money to make a movie out of a TV show which ended too soon. I speak to the founder of XE.com who distributed the first ever kick-starter movie.
QUEST: So if I say the name Veronica Mars, it may not mean much to you. She's the title character of a television crime show that ran for only three seasons in the United States. If you are a fan, you were probably heartbroken when the program was canceled. That was some time ago in 2007. So, rather than just crying into your beer, you actually decided to do something about it. Nearly 100,000 fans opened their wallets and started a kick-starter campaign to make a movie based on the cult series. They raised $5.7 million, and now Veronica Mars the Movie opens today. It's the first major movie -- major movie -- to be fully funded online -- crowd sort. Steven Dengler pledged $10 thousand to fund the movie. He's a Canadian entrepreneur and co-founder of the currency exchange site XE.com. So, for a man who likes his foreign exchange, he likes a good investment. Why get involved with this? (RINGS BELL).
STEVEN DENGLER, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, XE.COM: For two reasons. I like the project, I like the people involved, and I like crowd-funding. I like crowd-source funding projects in general. The two come together and the stakes were particularly exciting it really seemed to me at the time, and I think I've been borne (ph) correct, that it was perhaps the first mainstream kick-starter. So, prior to this project, kick-starter projects were kind of hipsters, not really well understood or well known by the public at large and then Veronica Mars came, and people who had never heard of kick-starter before suddenly started getting involved -- people that weren't -
DENGLER: -- tech geeks, people that weren't, you know, tech hipsters. Average people that just liked a project and started putting sort of real world money behind it.
QUEST: Right, you put 10K in -- is that correct?
DENGLER: Yes, that's right.
QUEST: And for that 10K, you not only get a bit of the pie, you also get a chance to have a speak -- to have -- to be on the movie?
DENGLER: Absolutely. I got a speaking role, and let me tell you, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. But more than that, they -- you know -- I was invited down to the set, you know, given the royal treatment, I got to sit with the director, I got to sit with the stars, meet them, have lunch with them. You know, I was a guest at the premier. It was just, you know, in some ways I feel like -- like a token of all the other kick- starter backers. I think they sort of let me in as a token of their appreciation to all the kick-starter backers. And it was fabulous.
QUEST: What do you stand to get in terms of an investment? Because kick- starting is fine, --
QUEST: -- but there has to be -- you know -- nobody wants to pour 10K down the toilet -- at least I assume you don't either.
DENGLER: Well, I mean, I think there's some people that feel that's exactly what I've done. There certainly wasn't a monetary return, it was just something I felt very near and dear to, and it was something that I really wanted to see happen. So, I don't expect to get any -- I don't stand to get any monetary rewards from it, but what I do get is the satisfaction of knowing I helped a project that I really liked, that I advanced the cause of crowd-source funding in general, and I got to be a part of something really exciting. I've done other investments -- angel investments -- where I absolutely did expect to get a monetary reward, but that was not the case this time. This was just --
DENGLER: -- was just something I really wanted to be a part of.
QUEST: OK, so -- and I don't mean this completely disrespectful -- it's a vanity project.
QUEST: It's a vanity project rather than a sort of an investment. But does crowd sourcing appeal ultimately to vanity projects do you think, or philanthropy and philanthropic projects or investment projects?
DENGLER: I think all of the above. I mean, different people get involved in crowd source projects for different reasons. You know, if somebody's putting in $10 or 20, you know, it would be hard to argue, you know, that it's a vanity project for them. Perhaps someone if they're -- if someone's putting in $5,000 or $10,000 more and getting a part -- a speaking role -- or something, you could argue, OK, maybe it appeals to their vanity. Even then they're advancing the cause.
QUEST: Steven Dengler. We'll have a "Profitable Moment" and final thought after the break.
QUEST: "This is not a normal investigation." Those are the words of the Malaysians today. Some might say, a massive understatement, bearing in mind the complexity of what they're dealing with, with Malaysia 370. "This is not a normal investigation." Maybe that's the reason why it's taken so long for us to get some of the most basic facts, which are now starting to come through. "This is not a normal investigation." It goes to the very heart of the cooperation between the countries involved and the United States providing expertise. "This is not a normal investigation." But it will have one general conclusion -- they will find the plane and they'll find out what happened -- that much is normal enough. And that's "Quest Means Business" for this week. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to, I hope it's profitable. Please, come back on Monday.