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Congress Responds to GM Engineers’ Suspension

Destiny Baker2 years ago

Members of Congress have begun responding to General Motors placing engineers Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio on paid leave.

GM Engineers Placed on Leave

On Thursday, the Detroit News reported that two high-up GM engineers, Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio, were placed on paid leave pending an internal investigation into the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles equipped with a defective ignition switch.

Altman and DeGiorgio were major talking points in the two congressional hearings held last week, one by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and another by a Senate sub-committee, as panel members question why nobody had been fired for delays in initiating a recall.

Altman was the program engineering manager on the Chevrolet Cobalt through May 2005, and DeGiorgio was GM’s project engineer responsible for the ignition switch that was used in the Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt.

Documents presented by McCaskill last week indicated that DeGiorgio had committed perjury during a deposition for a lawsuit concerning a fatal accident involving a Chevy Cobalt when he claimed that he was unaware of any defects in the vehicle.

In the documents, DeGiorgio had signed-off on a redesign for the ignition switch which is now known to be defective. Further, the documents showed that the redesign was completed without the model number being changed.

Potential Criminal Charges

As Senators and House Representatives respond to the engineers being placed on leave, one thing remains clear: there is still a possibility that the engineers and other GM employees and executives will criminal charges.

In a statement, Rep. Fred Upton and Rep. Tim Murphy commented that the actions taken against the engineer was just the beginning and that there are still a number of unanswered questions about who else was involved.

Sen. Claire McCaskill commented that the suspensions marked only a “small step in the right direction for GM to take responsibility for poor – and possibly criminal – decisions.

Multiple internal, federal and congressional investigations continue against the automaker.

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