clear
Sunday May 24th, 2015 9:30PM

GM: incompetence, negligence led to delayed recall

By The Associated Press
WARREN, Mich. (AP) -- GM CEO Mary Barra said 15 employees have been fired and five others have been disciplined over the company's failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths.<br /> <br /> The company also will form a compensation program for families of victims and those who suffered serious injuries in accidents related to the switches. The program is expected to begin taking claims Aug. 1.<br /> <br /> Barra made the announcement Thursday as she released an internal investigation into the recall of 2.6 million older small cars for defective ignition switches. She didn't immediately name the employees who were dismissed.<br /> <br /> She called the investigation "brutally tough and deeply troubling." It took GM more than a decade to report the deadly switch failures.<br /> <br /> "I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it," Barra told employees in a town hall meeting at GM's suburban Detroit technical center. "But I want you to hear it. I want you to remember it. I want you to never forget it." Barra promised to "fix the failures in our system."<br /> <br /> Barra says attorney Anton Valukas interviewed 230 employees and reviewed 41 million documents to produce the report, which also makes recommendations to avoid future safety problems.<br /> <br /> The crisis began in February, when GM recalled 780,000 older-model Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 small cars because of defective ignition switches. GM soon added the Saturn Ion and other small cars to the recall, which ballooned to 2.6 million cars worldwide.<br /> <br /> The switches in the cars can slip out of the "run" position and shut down the engine. That disables the power-assisted steering and brakes and can cause drivers to lose control. It also disables the air bags. GM says at least 13 people have died in crashes linked to the problem, but trial lawyers suing the company put the death toll closer to 60.<br /> <br /> Last month, GM paid a $35 million fine - the largest ever assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - for failing to report the problem quickly to federal regulators. GM knew about problems with the ignition switches as early as 2001, and in 2005 it told dealers to tell owners to take excess items off their key chains so they wouldn't drag down the ignition switch. In 2006, an engineer at GM approved a change in the switch design, but didn't inform the government or change the corresponding part number. In subsequent years, that made it harder for other GM engineers to figure out why older Cobalts performed worse than newer ones.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Author to sign new Cobb book at museum in Royston
Ty Cobb or the Georgia Peach has a posthumous legacy of having been a surly guy.
6:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
Body found in Chattahoochee River identified
Forsyth County authorities identified the body pulled from the Chattahoochee River late Saturday afternoon.
By Staff
5:13PM ( 4 hours ago )
Boat Sinks near Van Pugh Park
A boat sank near Van Pugh Park Sunday. 7 persons were on board. There were no injuries.
2:14PM ( 7 hours ago )
Winder police bust marijuana grow operation
A illegal marijuana grow operation was uncovered in Winder last Wednesday, leading to the arrests of five people.
6:58AM ( 14 hours ago )
History and Heritage at Ft. Hollingsworth
North Georgia's sunny sky and comfortable temperatures brought out the visitors Saturday to the 20th Annual 'Day at the Fort' at Fort Hollingsworth, nestled in the rolling Banks County countryside near Alto.
7:34PM ( 1 day ago )