GM Talks Findings of Ignition Switch Probe, Starts Victim Compensation Fund

By | June 05, 2014
An investigation into the ignition switch recall by U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas found "a pattern of incompetence and neglect," said GM CEO Mary Barra in a town hall meeting today. She also announced GM has undergone personnel changes and has issued a victim's compensation fund in response to the report. “Numerous individuals did not accept any responsibility to drive our organization to understand what was truly happening. 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," Barra said. The report found no evidence of a conspiracy by employees to cover up the facts or make trade-offs between safety and cost. GM has linked 13 deaths directly to the ignition switch defect, although others have said the toll is likely higher.
Fifteen employees who "acted inappropriately" in the ignition switch recall are no longer working for GM, Barra announced, and five other workers have been disciplined. GM previously reported other changes it has made to the organization, including the appointment of a new vehicle safety chief and a new program that encourages employees to speak up about safety issues. The company has also made senior management accountable for future safety issues. In addition to these changes, GM is starting a compensation program for those who lost loved ones or suffered injuries related to the ignition switch failure. The program will cover about 1.6 million model year 2003-2007 recalled vehicles with an ignition switch defect, as well as about 1 million 2008-2011 recalled that may have been repaired already. The program is expected to begin August 1. In the coming weeks, more details will be released on where and how to apply for compensation. Source: General Motors