General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) terminated 15 employees involved in the delay of the recall of millions of its vehicles with defective ignition switch for more than a decade that caused 13 deaths. GM CEO Mary Barra said the results of the automaker’s internal investigation found a “pattern of incompetence and neglect” and emphasized the report was “brutally tough and deeply troubling.”
Barra presented the findings of the internal investigation during a meeting with approximately 1,000 employees of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) at its technical center in Warren, Michigan. Her presentation was also broadcas to the employees of the automaker worldwide today.
The internal investigation was led by Anton R. Valukas, the former United States Attorney and the chairman of the law firm Jenner & Block LLP. Michael Millikin, the general counsel of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and the law firm, King & Spalding LLC assisted Valukas in the probe.
GM accepts responsibility for mistakes
During her presentation, Barra emphasized that General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) will accept responsibility for its failure to recall the vehicles equipped with defective ignition switches on time and vowed that such a problem will never happen again.
“What [the report] found was a pattern of incompetence and neglect. We will accept responsibility for our mistakes, and we will do everything in our power to make sure this never happens again. This is a test of our character and our values. We are not hiding from the truth,” Barra said unflinchingly.
NHTSA will release the full internal probe report
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) did not release the full report of its internal investigation. Barra explained that the automaker submitted the report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency will release the full text of the report.
No cover-up in recall delay
According to Barra, Valukas found that the management of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) did not commit any cover-up in connection with defective ignition switch recall, however, the employees responsible in taking appropriate action to resolve the problem failed to perform their responsibilities on time.
Valukas examined millions of pages of documents and interviewed 230 people regarding the problem. He submitted his report to the management of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) after completing his investigation.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) declined to release all the names of the people whose employment was terminated in connection with the recall problem. The automaker confirmed that among the employees fired were engineers Raymond DeGiorgio and Gary Altman.
According to Barra, the majority of the terminated employees were senior executives of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). He emphasized that Millikin will continue to serve the company. The automaker recently revamped its legal department and further changes are expected following the internal investigation report.
Compensation program for crash victims
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) said it will implement a compensation program for crash victims. Kenneth Feinberg, a compensation expert, will handle the program, and will be responsible to determine the amount of financial compensation for the families of those who lost their lives or those injured in accidents. He will also responsible for inding out how many people died or were injured because of the defective ignition switches.