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General Motors CEO to Personally Direct Major Recall

Justin Chavez3 years ago

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra has officially declared that she will be personally directing the recall of the 1.37 million GM cars that could have the major flaw in their ignition switches.

Previous reports have shown that the company knew about the dangerous ignition switch defect since 2004, but failed to issue a recall until this past February.

Details of the CEO’s Oversight Decision

“You're seeing a signal here about the seriousness of the issue,” says Jeremy Robinson-Leon, COO at Group Gordon, New York crisis public relations firm as published by USA Today 

USA Today reports that this past Tuesday (Mar. 4) Barra sent a letter to all GM employees detailing how she created a group of senior executives to direct the company’s latest recall and also announce that she would be leading the group.

While GM did not reveal who exactly makes up this group, Bara did emphasize that the company is holding itself accountable and that they are working towards a resolution so customers will not experience an situation like this again. 

Barra’s release came the same day that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it is investigating whether or not the company responded to the safety problem fast enough.

The NHTSA requires automakers to notify the regulators within five business days of discovering a defect. Failure to adhere to this requirement carries a penalty of up to $35 million and may result in criminal investigations.

Backround of the General Motors Ignition Switch Recall

The issue began in 2005 with reports that airbags in some of GM vehicles' had failed to deploy during collisions.

The vehicles were not recalled immediately, possibly leading to more deaths, as many consumers were unaware of the problem.

The cause of the problem was linked by GM to faulty ignition switches that inadvertently moved out of the “run” position into “accessory,” causing the engines shut off and the power to the safety systems, including the airbags, to cut off.

The cars being recalled in the U.S. are:

  • 2005-07 Chevy Cobalts
  • 2003-07 Saturn Ions
  • 2006-07 Chevorlet HHRs and Pontiac Solstices 
  • 2007 Saturn Sky and Pontiac G5 models 

GM is now saying they are aware of the 31 crashes and 13 front-seat deaths in accidents where the airbags failed to deploy. 

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