Barra familiar implicated in ignition debacle image

Documents that have just surfaced show that one of the high-ranking product-development executives that still work at GM was implicated as an engineer in the internal discussions over the fatal defective ignition switch.

Congressional investigators released new documents that show how Doug Parks, which was back then a chief engineer for the Chevrolet Cobalt in 2005, was a part of the company officials that debated if the – now proven deadly defect – was worth the cost of a redesign, as the flawed ignition switch was already in place in millions of cars.

The now top executive has also been retained within the company, even as the new CEO – Mary Barra – who also came from the product development level, ousted 15 persons for the mishandling of the issue and promised lawmakers investigating the company that GM is now changing its entire corporate culture.

“As Ms. Barra has said repeatedly we have taken all of the personnel actions that we feel are appropriate at this time,” said Greg Martin, a spokesman for the US automaker.

“The documents that we have received to date paint a disturbing and devastating picture, a beyond worst-case systemic breakdown that led to lives needlessly lost,” said lawmakers. “But as the recalls mount important questions remain and our investigation continues into both GM and NHTSA.”

General Motors, the biggest US automaker, has – owing mainly to its mishandling of the 2.6 millionc cars equipped with the deadly ignition switches – so far this year recalled over 20 million vehicles – of which no less than 9 million relate at some level to the faulty ignition switches.

Via Bloomberg