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General Motors’ Board Investigates Ignition Recall

Tina Robinson2 years ago

The Board of Directors for General Motors has launched its own review of company procedures in a quest to determine why it wasn’t told about engine stalls in Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion model cars, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

GM’s Internal Investigations

The WSJ reports that GM’s board has hired an independent law firm to review how information about potential defects is communicated to its members. At least three lawsuits have been filed against the board for failing in its duties to “act on issues that might affect GM’s operations, profitability or image.” Some have criticized the board for not taking a more active role in the aftermath of the ignition recall.

Since February, GM has recalled about 2.6 million compact cars due to faulty ignition switches that can cause engines to lose power when the GM key is bumped out of the “on” position while running. At least 13 deaths have been linked to the problem which documents show the company was aware of for at least a decade.

A separate internal probe is being conducted by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas into the ignition recall. Results from that investigation are expected to be released in late May or early June. GM CEO Mary Barra has declined to publicly comment until that time.

Federal Investigations into GM Recall

The massive recall has also spurred investigations by two congressional committees, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. GM face potential fines as well as criminal charges as investigators seek to understand why the company took so long to recall the dangerous vehicles.

Over 60 lawsuits from victims and owners of the defective vehicles have been filed against GM. In April, the company hired attorney Ken Feinberg to assist the automaker in exploring options for a possible GM compensation fund to aid those injured in crashes. Mr. Feinberg is a victims’ compensation specialist with experience in high-profile cases, including the BP oil spill and Boston Marathon bombings. 

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