According to an internal probe by General Motors, a “pattern of incompetence and neglect” played a role in the automaker’s failure for years to recall millions of defective vehicles that had faulty ignition switches. However, the investigation also said that while there were individuals who “repeatedly” neglected to reveal critical information about the safety issue, no intentional cover-up took place.
Today, GM CEO Mary T. Barra announced that 15 employees were fired over the investigation’s findings, while five others were disciplined. She noted that most of those who were let go were in senior or executive positions. Barras said that there were individuals at the company who seemed more concerned with finding “reasons not to act” instead of looking for ways to protect customers.
The faulty ignition problem has been linked to 47 collisions and 13 fatalities-and these numbers are expected to grow. To date, nearly 2.6 million autos have been recalled as of the end of January because of this safety issue alone.
The auto defect, which was detected as far back as 2004-perhaps even 2001-involves ignition switches that might suddenly shift out of the “run” position. Not only could this disable air bags in the vehicle but also it could cut the power assistance for the brakes and steering.
GM says it will start accepting claims by victims beginning August 1. Still, many people are expected to choose to file their faulty ignition lawsuit in court rather than go with a payout. GM is protected from liability for car crashes that occurred prior to when it filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2009.
Last month, GM signed an agreement with the US Department of Transportation admitting it had violated federal laws mandating that it reveal auto defects within five business days of discovery. The automaker paid a $35 million fine.
In Massachusetts, our Boston auto defects lawyers represent victims (and their families) who were injured because of a faulty vehicle part. Contact Altman & Altman LLP to request your free case consultation.
GM Fires 15 Employees Over Recall Failures, Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2014
GM report spurs lawmakers, safety advocates, USA Today, June 5, 2014
G.M. Says Inquiry Found ‘Pattern of Incompetence’, NY Times, June 6, 2014
More Blog Posts:
General Motors Recalls 2.8 Million More Vehicles, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, May 21, 2014
303 Fatalities Linked to Failed Air Bags In Recalled General Motors Cars, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 13, 2014
The Staggering Toll of Car Crashes, Boston Car Accident Lawyers Blog, May 31, 2014