GM Says “Pattern of Incompetence” Delayed Vehicle Recall

GM Fires 15 Employees After Internal Investigation Reveals Reasons for Delayed Vehicle Recall

vehicle recallGeneral Motors, Inc, announced on Thursday, June 5th, that an internal investigation uncovered a “pattern of incompetence” that caused the ignition switch vehicle recall to be delayed by a decade.

The automotive manufacturer announced that 15 employees had been fired in relation to the serious delays in the ignition switch vehicle recall, which caused at least 13 deaths in car crashes over a period of 10 years.

“Repeatedly, individuals failed to disclose critical pieces of information that could have fundamentally changed the lives of those impacted by a faulty ignition switch,” Mary T. Barra, GM’s chief executive, said. “If this information had been disclosed, I believe in my heart the company would have dealt with this matter appropriately.”

Barra did not list the names of the terminated employees or which departments they worked in, but she did say that “more than 50 percent” were executives and that two suspended employees had been dismissed.

“Numerous individuals did not accept any responsibility to drive our organization to understand what was truly happening,” she said. “The report highlights a company that operated in silos, with a number of individuals seemingly looking for reasons not to act, instead of finding ways to protect our customers.”

GM’s ignition switch vehicle recall covers nearly 2.6 million cars in model years 2004 and 2005. The company has also issued several additional vehicle recalls since the ignition switch recall began in January.

“While everybody who was engaged on the ignition switch issue had the responsibility to fix it, nobody took responsibility,” Barra said. “Throughout the entire 11-year history, there was no demonstrated sense of urgency, right to the very end.”

Attorney Anton Valukas was hired by GM to conduct the internal investigation into the ignition switch vehicle recall delays. He and his team interviewed 230 employees and reviewed 41 million documents.

“Mr. Valukas’s report revealed no conspiracy by the corporation to cover up the facts,” Barra continued. “In addition, the investigators found no evidence that any employee made a trade-off between safety and cost.”

“We are taking responsibility for what has happened by taking steps to treat these victims and their families with compassion, decency and fairness,” Ms. Barra said. “We made serious mistakes in the past and as a result we’re making significant changes in our company to ensure they never happen again.”

Last month, GM paid the largest fine in vehicle recall history to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – compared to potential lawsuit awards, the fine was only $35 million, but the NHTSA said that, in addition to the fine, they requested from Congress a lift on the $35 million cap in order to make a greater impact on large companies that delay safety recalls.

In response to the ignition switch vehicle recall, GM has created a website to help customers determine if their vehicle has been recalled or not: gmignitionswitchupdate.com. In all, GM has recalled 6.1 million vehicles in the last 16 months.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Defective Products and Vehicle Recall Cases

If you have experienced a problem with a defective product in your automobile, especially if a defective part has led to an auto accident or personal injury, and a proper vehicle recall notice has not been issued, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We can help you with complicated auto insurance claims, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to help you with lost income and medical bills. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today at (803) 252-4800.

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