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Two Top GM Executives Resign

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

Two senior executives of General Motors have announced that they are leaving the company amid investigations into the company’s handling of an ignition switch defect which has been linked to at least 13 deaths and 31 frontal collisions and has led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

GM Denies Recall Played a Role in Execs' Departure

According to the Detroit Free Press, GM stated both Selim Bingol, senior vice president of public policy and communications, and Melissa Howell, senior vice president for human resources, chose to leave the company in order to “pursue other interests.”

In a statement made on Monday, GM spokesperson Greg Martin claimed that the departures were in no way connected to the defective ignition switches or the subsequent recall and investigations.

Documents show that Bingol was tapped by former GM CEO Ed Whitacre to lead the automaker’s public relations team in 2010 while Howell originally joined the company in 1990. Howell took the role of senior vice president for human resources in February 2013.

GM announced that the company’s former director of human resources for global product development, purchasing and supply chain operations will be taking over Howell’s vacancy. The automaker has not named a successor for Bingol.

Investigations into Defective GM Switch Continue

GM remains at the center of multiple federal, congressional and state investigations as officials attempt to determine why the automaker failed to acknowledge and recall the faulty ignition switches in a more timely manner.

Documents indicate that the company was made aware of problems with the ignition switch as early as 2001 and even approved a redesign for the defective part in 2006, but issues with the switch were not brought to the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration until 2014.

During congressional hearings held last month, members of a Senate sub-committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee suggested that some GM executives could face criminal charges and penalties.

Last week, the automaker placed two of its top engineers on paid leave following evidence that one had approved the ignition switch redesign without issuing a new model number for the part, and the other had failed to enact a potential fix for the faulty switch after determining it was not cost effective for the company.

About the Recalled Vehicles
  • Recall notices issued by GM acknowledge that the defective ignition switches can inadvertantly shift out of the run position and into the “accessroy” or “off,” resulting in a reduction or complete loss of power.
  • The risk is increased if a vehicle experiences rough road condtiions or other jarring or impact events. Heavy key rings may also cause the switches to shift.
  • The recall currently affects:
    • 2003-2007 Saturn Ions
    • 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts
    • 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstices
    • 2007-2010 Pontiac G5s
    • 2007-2010 Saturn Skies
    • 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHRs


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