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GM Names Vehicle Safety Chief in Wake of Recall

Tina Robinson3 years ago

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently talked with reporters in a roundtable meeting to discuss GM’s handling of last month’s recall of 1.6 million vehicles.

Barra discussed when she knew of the ignition switch problem as well as GM’s efforts to prevent future safety problems. 

Barra Unaware of Problem

Reuters reports that Barra was unaware of the ignition switch defect while she was head of GM global product development.

Further, she alleges that she wasn’t told of the problem until January 31, two weeks after she was named CEO. Barra did, however, say that she was told in late December of product review of the Chevrolet Cobalt.

After learning of the defective ignition switches and recall, Barra says she immediately contacted the GM board.

GM Names Vehicle Safety Chief

GM announced today that Jeff Boyer will be the new vehicle safety chief – a new position created as a result of the recall.

Boyer, a 40-year veteran with GM, has been given “complete authority” to make safety changes or  changes to the recall process. Boyer is expected to improve GM’s recall process and keep Barra briefed on progress.

In the past, Boyer worked on the interiors of some of the recalled vehicles. He was not responsible for any mechanical or electrical components such as the ignition switch.

No Word to Victims’ Families

There have been 12 fatalities linked by GM to the defective ignition switches. So far, GM has not reached out to any of the victims’ families.

Barra told reporters that GM was waiting to conclude a probe, which she expects to take a “few months,” before reaching out.

Safety advocates have also urged GM to set up a $1 billion trust fund for crash victims. Barra declined to comment directly on whether or not that was an action GM plans to take. 

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