Citing a source close to the matter within the company, the Wall Street Journal reports that GM’s own internal probe on the 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, due today, would conclude that senior executives had no blame.
The long delayed recall of the cars – linked by GM to 13 deaths and by other reports to at least 74 fatalities – was subject to an internal review conducted by two outside law firms and led by GM’s general counsel, Michael Millikin and former US prosecutor Anton Valukas.
According to the sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, the probe’s conclusion is expected to exonerate CEO Mary Barra, executives who reported directly to her, the board of directors and former CEO Dan Akerson, as they had no prior knowledge of the problem before December 2013, dismissing the idea of a concerted cover-up.
The Wall Street Journal follows on saying the review would recommend changes to GM culture and management, as the managers of the company failed to make the connections to the problems linked to fatal accidents.
The newspaper said the most probable recommendations of the probe would include the lay off of “a number of people,” among them Raymond DeGiorgio, the engineer in charge with the switches design and also members of the company’s legal department – though Millikin would not be among them.