Congress Probes GM Executives on Ignition Switch Recall

By | May 07, 2014
Congress is investigating who made key decisions in the ignition switch fiasco, and whether or not GM executives acted quickly enough to fix the issue. According to Reuters, investigators are struggling to sift through the complex structure of GM to find out who was accountable for certain decisions. GM executives conducted an internal review of ignition switch problems in from 2011 to 2013, well before issuing a recall for 2.6 million cars. GM has attributed the ignition switch issue to at least 13 deaths. A few of GM's engineering executives, including Jim Federico, recently retired. Federico led the company's investigation, which in part looked into possible fixes to prevent a switch from slipping out of the run position. The internal probe also examined why the switches would stop sensors from deploying airbags.
GM, however, says that its top executives did not learn of the ignition switch defect until the end of January 2014, when the recall was made. GM CEO Mary Barra testified earlier this year that she learned of an issue with the Chevrolet Cobalt in December 2013, but didn't know it related to the ignition switch. GM has said its senior executives were kept separated from recall investigations so engineers could make decisions without pressure. After the recall, GM has made some key changes to its organization. It restructured its engineering departments and elected a new global Vehicle Safety Chief in charge of handling recalls and safety defects. Source: Reuters