With no less than five federal probes looking into how General Motors handled the very late recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, now the top brass comes under the radar.
According to congressional sources, speaking under condition of anonymity, the investigators are now looking into whether General Motors new Chief Executive, Mary Barra, and other top executives had more knowledge about the issue then previously implied.
The Congress investigators are also seeking to find how fast they all reacted, after they were presented with the problem, with the deadly ignition switch issue so far connected to at least 13 deaths.
According to the three sources, investigators search to find out who knew and oversaw an internal investigation in 2011-2013 which led to the problem’s discovery – although documents show the issue was known to some people as early as 2004.
“The whole purpose of the Valukas investigation is to understand the entire chronology of events and who knew what when, and what decisions were made or should have been made,” said GM spokesman Jim Cain.
According to GM documents, emails and internal reports – all released by congressional investigators, two close executives of Barra – Terry Woychowski and Jim Federico, were working with the engineer that first ran an internal investigation and searched for the root cause of air bag problems in 2011 to late 2013.