GM CEO Mary Barra was apologetic in a telecast about the findings of the Valukas report — the company’s internal report on why it took 11 years for the company to recall cars with faulty ignition switches. The switches have been linked to 13 deaths.
Barra became CEO last December as the company started hitting its stride after declaring bankruptcy in 2009.
“It [the report] represents a fundamental failure… in this case with these vehicles we didn’t do our job. We failed these customers.”
That said, Barra sounded confident that the report was “very thorough”, with 230 individuals questioned.
“I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it,” said Barra, “but I want to share it with you… I want you to hear it and never forget it.”
Barra blamed the findings on a “pattern of irresponsibility and neglect” that made a lazy attitude about safety “business as usual” at the company. She said that this behaviour was never reported to the highest ranks of GM and that there was no conspiracy to cover up the issue, though “personnel’s inability to address ignition switch problem… represents a history of failures.”
As a result of the report, Barra announced a management shakeup, fifteen fired, more safety investigators, and compensation for the families who lost loved ones, and those who were severely injured.