This morning, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the results of the company’s investigation into the defective ignition switch which caused several driver deaths and led to the recall of millions of vehicles. While the report did not find evidence of a coordinated “cover-up” by corporate leadership, 15 employees were fired for their role in the failure. (Some were in “senior” positions, Barra said.) The company will also set up a fund to compensate victims.
Barra said that, moving forward, any GM employee with a concern about improper or incompetent behavior should bring the problem directly to her if their supervisor fails to address it. From the Detroit Free Press:
“If you are aware of a potential problem affecting safety or quality and you don’t speak up, you are a part of the problem,” Barra said. “If you see a problem that you don’t believe is being handled properly, bring it to the attention of your supervisor. If you still don’t believe it’s being handled properly, contact me directly.”
That’s a big job for Barra to put on her own shoulders given that General Motors has an estimated 219,000 employees—but given that the company has already had to recall 14 million cars this year, drastic action of some kind is clearly called for.
Various federal and state investigations into the defective ignition switch are still ongoing.