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GM Hires Recall Consultant

Destiny Baker2 years ago

General Motors has rehired one of its former public relations executives to advise the company during its ignition switch recall.

Former GM Exec Pulled from Retirement

According to the Detroit Free Press, Steve Harris, 67, retired from the company in 2009 following a three-year stint as vice president of communications; however, he has been called back to help the company handle its recall of millions of vehicles equipped with faulty ignition switches.

The decision to bring Harris back comes after Selim Bingol, GM’s most recent vice president of communications, resigned from the company last month.

Harris served as the president of global communications from 1999 to 2003 and was recalled to the company by then-CEO Rick Wagoner in 2006, amid the company’s financial crisis. He continued to work with the company until he retired in 2009.

GM announced that Harris will work with the company for a “limited time” and is the latest of outside hires made by the company which include communications expert Jeff Eller, victims’ compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg, and attorney Anton Valukas, whom the automaker has placed in charge of an internal investigation.

About the GM Ignition Switch Recall

General Motors has been at the center of media attention since February when it first announced the recall of nearly 1 million vehicles equipped with faulty ignition switches. The number of vehicles affected by the recall has grown, now including 2.6 million GM vehicles across the globe.

According to recall releases issued by the automaker, the defective ignition switches can inadvertently shift out of the “run” position and into the “accessory” or “off” position while the vehicles are running, cutting power to the engine.

This can result in the loss of safety features including power steering and anti-lock brakes and may result in airbag non-deployment. So far GM has linked the defect to 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions – other reports place the death toll much higher.

The defect has resulted in numerous lawsuits and investigations. GM is currently working with victims’ compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg to set up a victims’ compensation fund for those most affected by the recall.


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