As the No.1 US automaker is still navigating the shallow waters of the public relations scandal related to the recall of 2.6 million cars that are linked to at least 13 deaths, the company is now focusing executives on improving vehicle safety.
Undergoing an internal reshuffling that is meant to aid in its stride to increase overall vehicle safety, the carmaker announced that two of its executives – with experience in working together with the US safety regulators that probed the defective ignition switch recall – would assume new roles in the newly formed safety group.
GM spokesman Greg Martin said that M. Carmen Benavides, previously the director of field product investigations and evaluations alongside an unnamed executive who was closely involved in dealing with the Washington safety regulators joined the new global safety team. Benavides, now with the position of director of safety improvement initiatives, was succeeded in her previous role by Brian Latouf.
“Brian and Carmen will be undertaking important roles to support Jeff Boyer,” Martin said, talking about GM’s new global safety chief.
General Motors is undergoing an extensive safety improvement plan, after in late February began a recall that spanned several models and 2.6 million cars because they were equipped with a defective ignition switch – which could jump from the “run” position to “accessory” or “off” – causing the engine to stop while driving, which in turn leads to the loss of critical safety systems.