GM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Barra held a town hall meeting this morning on the ignition switch issue, and compensation for those injured or killed. The meeting started out with an apology to those that were hurt and to the families of those that lost their lives from this faulty switch. Barra stated that GM would do whatever they needed to do to compensate the families and to ensure that this never happens again. She went on to say that an independent study was conducted and that GM cooperated fully. The report is said to be very detailed and “disturbing.” Barra goes on to say that this was a total failure on the part of GM, and that it is embarrassing to see their incompetence and negligence so fully exposed in this report, which will be available on their website. The report states that there is a history of failures and that no one took the responsibility seriously in the 11 years that this issue was known within the company. She states that this is not just another business failure and they will not move on, they will remember this always, and hold this as a standard and that GM will not allow this level of incompetence ever again.
Barra states that this is not a reflection of the company as a whole, but they have to deal with it and correct the problem. To do that the company will need to restructure the system so as to not allow an issue of this magnitude to happen ever again. Personnel decisions were made and a number of changes were implemented. One of these changes was that 15 employee’s were fired due to this issue and five others were disciplined. GM will be implementing a compensation program for the families of the victims and they have hired Kenneth Feinberg, who is an American attorney, specializing in mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
Barra then laid out the 5 steps the company has taken so far were laid out and they are as follows:
1) Named Jeff Boyer as Safety Director
2) 35 Safety investigators added
3) Speak up for safety program for employees
4) New global product integrity and safety program
5) Restructured the product safety decision process
GM is taking full responsibility for this issue and Barra was very open at this unprecedented Town Hall meeting with its open forum. This is a first for any of the Big Three, and the world will be watching to ensure the steps laid out do indeed happen.
By Kristi Cereska
Fox 2 News Live