US lawmakers bitter on GM ‘culture of secrecy’ image

GM’s Chief Executive Mary Barra once more stood before the US Congress to answer questions about the company’s inability to deal for years with a safety issue – the deadly defective ignition switch.

Back in February, GM recalled 2.6 million cars equipped with a defective ignition switch that caused the engine to stall mid-driving, with a potential catastrophic loss of critical safety systems, including the airbags – so far at least 54 accidents and 13 deaths have been linked to the issue.

Barra returned for a second time to answer questions on why the automaker was late by more than a decade in recalling the cars – while this year alone the carmaker has exceeded 20 million recalled cars.

The lawmakers fret that it was “frankly alarming” that GM’s “culture of secrecy” prevented top level managers from being aware of a deadly flaw for many years, while it was obvious that lower-level engineers and lawyers had knowledge of the issue.

The members of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee were also dissatisfied with the move to oust only 15 people from the company ranks, while calling Barra’s move – herself a very long time employee – to rely heavily on long running GM staff, worrying for the further cultural and management changes needed to turn the company’s policy around.

Via Reuters