The findings of the investigation into GM’s Cobalt ignition switch recall are out – and they are not kind.
Almost immediately after receiving the Valukas Report – named after former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, who headed up the investigation – the company has fired 15 employees, disciplined five others and is instituting a number of changes. It announced it plans to “act on all recommendations” in the report, according to a statement.
The changes are wide-sweeping and amount to an attempt at changing the company culture.
GM has appointed a vice president of global vehicle safety, Jeff Boyer, consolidating “and integrating GM’s safety processes under a single leader”; added 35 product safety investigators; created Speak up for Safety Program; and restructured the recall decision making process to ensure upper management knows about it early.
According to the Valukas report, GM CEO Mary Barra and top executives “did not learn about the ignition switch safety issues and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on Jan. 31, 2014,” GM Chairman Tim Solso said in a statement.
GM has set up a compensation fund for the families of victims and injured in the recalled vehicles, which will be overseen by Kenneth Feinberg. The company has also retained outside lawyers and said it plans to establish a stand-alone risk committee.
“The Board, like management, is committed to changing the company’s culture and processes to ensure that the problems described in the Valukas report never happen again,” Solso said.
Photo Credit: General Motors