Yesterday, General Motors announced that another engineer, who was linked to the defective ignition switch recall that led to 13 deaths, has opted for retirement.
Jim Federico, 56, was an executive who previously reported directly to now-CEO mary Barra and was in charge of overseeing an internal investigation of the defective ignition switch. Since September 2013 he held the position of executive director of global vehicle integration and previously he was executive chief engineer for global subcompact cars and SUVs, and electric vehicles – working at GM for close to 36 years.
“We congratulate him on his retirement and wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” says GM spokesman Jim Cain. Federico plans to “take on new engineering and design challenges outside of the auto industry.”
The spokesman also added that his retirement has nothing to do with the defective ignition switch recall. Still, GM documents released to the Congress show that Federico’s attention was drawn by reports from an engineer who was seeking the root cause of airbag problems in GM vehicles. In 2012 Federico was considered a “champion” of that probe, with subsequent investigations leading to identify the defective ignition switch.
The latest executive departure follows last month’s leave of John Calabrese, 55, global engineering chief – who also opted to retire, with his job now split in half to try and improve vehicle safety.