GM executive says morale high even during recall crisis image

According to the automaker’s global product chief Mark Reuss, the company’s morale is higher than in 2012 even as the year brought no less than 30 recalls that cover north of 15 million cars.

The No. 1 US carmaker is currently navigating shallow waters as the public outcry still rages about the very late recall of some 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, while federal authorities also probe the company. And to put things in perspective, the almost 15 million cars total of recalls is close to last year’s overall US sales that topped at 15.6 million cars.

On the other hand, global product chief Mark Reuss disclosed that an internal study conducted among General Motors employees sees morale rising sharply since the latest edition of the report, in 2012.

“Honestly, the survey people said we’ve never seen improvement like what we saw here,” Reuss told reporters.

Meanwhile, for the failure to report in due time the safety issue stemming from the defective ignition switch, which was known internally at some level since 2003 (and reports suggest even 2001), General Motors is now facing five separate federal probes, including from Congress. In one of them, now concluded, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration slapped the automaker with the biggest fine it had at disposal – $30 million – while the federal government is now discussing a proposal to raise in the future the fine to $300 million.