General Motors is still addressing internally the changes stemming from the ignition switch scandal, in which 2.6 million cars equipped with a faulty part were recalled at least a decade late.
The February ignition switch recall triggered a huge cultural change within the company, which according to many outside commentators, US lawmakers and even insiders, was deeply flawed. GM CEO Mary Barra even ordered an outside internal review in regards to the flaw that was linked to at least 54 crashes and 13 deaths.
The review found that one of the departments that seriously mishandled the issue was the legal unit, which is now set to undergo a second outside law firm investigation. While some of the employees that work inside the department have been let go, GM’s top lawyer in charge of the department was exonerated – but will face the trial of the US Congress hearing set for later today.
GM named a “well-respected outside law firm to conduct a zero-based review of GM’s litigation practices,” states the written testimony prepared for the Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing by Michael Millikin, the general counsel of GM.
What’s worse, after GM embarked on a comprehensive internal review of all its models, the automaker so far discovered more than 6 million cars equipped with the defective part, some of them also tied to further crashes and fatalities.