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What Will the GM Internal Probe Reveal?

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Tina Robinson3 years ago

A three-month-long internal investigation into the General Motors ignition switch recall conducted by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas is expected to be made public as soon as this week. A new report from CNBC suggests the report will clear CEO Mary Barra.

Expectations of GM Internal Probe

Several departments within GM including engineering, legal, product investigations, and regulatory affairs have been the focus of the Valukas investigation. These departments were all aware of problems with the ignition switches at different times. However, CNBC notes, no information definitively linking any top GM executives to the defect have been made public.

As part of Mr. Valukas’ report, names of those responsible for the delay as well as suggestions for personnel changes are expected. GM officials and auto experts have suggested the report will also clear Barra of any knowledge of the defect prior to January 31 of this year.

Barra testified before two congressional panels in April where she repeatedly deflected answers by deferring to the ongoing investigation. Since that time, Barra has not been made available for interviews. Barra and GM have also kept quiet about key issues such as why she was never informed of earlier internal investigations into the switches when she was head of product development.

Criticism of Valukas Probe

Some say, however, that the Valukas probe has problems. The report, they say, was commissioned and paid for by GM which creates a conflict of interest. There are also ties to Mr. Valukas and GM.

Valukas’ firm, Jenner & Block, has represented GM in the past. Additionally, another law firm that has been assisting with the investigation, King & Spalding, was the defense team for GM in certain product liability cases including the case which uncovered the ignition defect. 


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