According to sources with knowledge of the plans, General Motors is moving on to swiftly dismantle centers of influence that caused trouble in identifying the recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches.
The people have talked to Bloomberg and said that the US automaker is now overhauling its legal department – which was one of the units that hindered and delayed the recall that has so far been linked to 13 deaths and 42 crashes.
“Corporate counsel is a reflection of management,” said James Butler, a Columbus, Georgia, lawyer who battled GM for 25 years. “You have to change the whole culture.”
One of the persons, which asked to remain anonymous because the matter is not official and he has no authority to discuss it publicly, said that General Counsel Michael Millikin has moved one of its legal advisers to assist the chiefs of the global safety and vehicle development units, allowing information about the problems to flow more swiftly between GM’s departments.
GM’s new chief executive, Mary Barra, appointed mid-January, has already moved to quickly ruffle departments after the public scandal surrounding the recall ensued, with important changes already done in the communications, public policy, human-resources and engineering units.