While so far GM CEO Mary Barra managed to deflect more sensitive questions about the 2.6 million cars recalled for defective ignition switches, saying she would wait for the conclusions of an internal review, it looks like the report still hasn’t addressed all of them.
Back in February, the CEO ordered a recall on small cars that were having a problem with defective ignition switches, with 47 accidents and at least 13 fatalities tied to it. Then, as a public scandal ensued – after GM was found to have known at some level about the issue since 2001 – in March, an outside review, led by outside counsel Anton Valukas of Jenner & Block, was ordered to shed light on the mishaps.
One key question – and with the answer unaddressed though in the report’s findings, is why the company redesigned the switch but didn’t follow industry practice to change the part number – causing much confusion in the investigations. One of the 15 employees dismissed after the report – switch designer Ray DeGiorgio – was held accountable for this as well, but Barra still gave no reason into why the mishap.
Then, while GM’s top lawyer, General Counsel Michael Millikin, was said to not have known about the issue until the recall, some of the fired employees are close collaborators and subordinates – with one of them not knowing why the problem was never reported to his boss.
Also, Valukas found that key paperwork from GM engineers and switch supplier Delphi, both needing to approve the part at the start of production in 2002, was missing – from both companies.