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GM Fires 15 for Ignition Recall Blunders, America Deserves to Know Who

General Motors boss Mary Barra announced yesterday that 15 company employees have been fired as a result of the failure to recall the vehicles with the ignition problems and although America deserves to know what positions have been vacated – the company has only named one name thus far.

Yesterday marked the first time that General Motors President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra spoke openly and publicly on the delay in recalling millions of vehicles with faulty ignition cylinders which ultimately cost somewhere in the area of a dozen people their lives. After being grilled by the federal government over the companies lackluster effort in recalling these vehicles, Barra launched an internal investigation with former US Attorney Anton Valukas. As expected, the results of that investigation indicated that the company did not act as they should have and Barra said that the report was "extremely thorough, brutally tough and deeply troubling."

The company has already begin to be far more proactive on safety recall issues, with recalls touching every car from the least expensive economy models to the mighty Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Cadillac V Series. In addition to that, GM has expanded their team which examines and handles safety issues to help make sure that things like the ignition cylinder failure don’t ever fall through the cracks again. This new process also involves higher level management in these recall process as well.

15 Fired from GM for Inappropriate Actions
Finally, Mary Barra explained that 15 GM employees were fired as a result of the failure to recall these vehicles and that half of them were executives. However, GM hasn’t offered a list of who was fired nor have they announced what positions will need to be filled as a result of these firings. While General Motors is no longer owned by the federal government, the company exists today due to the financial support of the American taxpayer and it is those same taxpayers who were most deeply affected by GM’s improper recall processes. There are millions of these cars on the road today with the ignition problem and that is because of the actions and decision of these 15 people.

The actions of those GM employees fired literally cost people their lives and the American public deserves to know who the people were who made these decisions. While General Motors is working as quickly as possible to clean up this mess, every American driver faces a risk – albeit a small one – of being more seriously impacted by the decisions of these fired GM employees.

In the long run, the failure to recall these vehicles in a timely fashion has cost the automaker millions upon millions of dollars and with General Motors being a publicly traded company – the many shareholders around the country deserve to know which people at which corporate positions were most directly responsible for mistakes that had a massive impact on the value of their stock. General Motors is likely trying to remain as quiet as possible with reference to the names of these individuals as to protect their careers and life as a whole, but it seems to me that sooner or later we are bound to find out. If nothing else, General Motors will eventually need to replace these folks (at least the unnamed executives) and those appointments would indicate what position was vacated previously.

General Motors has done a great job of just coming right out and coming clean on everything regarding the failure to recall the faulty ignitions and it is surprising to me that the company hasn’t at least named the positions of the men and women fired as a result of the internal investigation. Perhaps the company has decided to give the people who have been fired some advanced notice before making it public knowledge, but I expect that in the next few weeks the positions of those workers blamed for this whole mess will suffice.


AA (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 4:04PM

These people were fired, isn't that enough? Are we so blood thirsty that we have to ruin these people's lives forever. Liability rests with the company. The individuals have been given a consequnce, let them move on.

Phytoist (not verified)    June 8, 2014 - 1:31PM

In reply to by AA (not verified)

AA,15 who got fired due to"failure to recall the vehicles"says it all-scapegoat. If they all fail,what their bosses were doing? Why they failed to intervene for a quick recall? My severe punishment comment was directed to top management levels whoever he/she is or are. Remember the quarter pin problem in 1980s GM cars,brake failure problem & deaths? Instead stainless still made,someone decided to use mixed alloy pins which rusted due to salt used for icy roads just save (May be)few bucks. What as humans we should weigh in for,few $$$s ya one/many lives lost for someone's deadliests errors? The quality control personnel who objected mixed ally pins got fored & may be who win over him might have been rewarded too! Corporate profits is one thing we all can agree upon,but not on profits for most greedy sitting @ tops with total blind eyes for the customers who buys their products. 15 deaths=to 15 families in trouble for whole livelihoods. We need to inject moral values & humanly possible decency in corporate fabric & culture & sooner is better than not now or latter.

Phytoist (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 4:10PM

Those who are responsible for deaths should also be forced to pay to the victims families from their own pockets. Unless greed & greedy ones are punished severally economically for their bad acts & behaviors-customers,clients,tax payers,consumers or victims of frauds & negligences will always get ripped off by crooks. Now a days it looks like rogue corporate culture gets rewarded for their bad behavior & crookedness instead whippings on butts & bolts on pockets.

RickG (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 4:12PM

No, the names of the people will not and should not be released. The reason is that they are employees of the company which ultimately is responsible for their actions. It doesn't matter they were able to avoid detection before this incident, the people that worked for GM with intimate knowledge of the part problem do not have final responsibility. It is management that is responsible for the systems and checks in place to prevent failures. That is why it is so frustrating that the VP's in charge, including Barra herself, aren't in the process of finding new jobs. It may be true that prior management had been the problem, but there must be individuals in the line of command that should have taken responsibility rather than thrust it all on the lower engineer and product management levels.

Richard Hubert (not verified)    June 6, 2014 - 7:19PM

Should those fired be named? In brief no.

Unless and until there are legal reasons to pursue some of these people individually it was really GM and it's corporate structure that was mostly at fault. While upon investigation it could likely be shown that just a few executives covered this up so they would not look bad, ultimately a problem like this becomes too obvious to hide and there would have been a number of high level execs who would have known about this. Those in charge of Warranty, Legal, Service and Parts - at a minimum - would all have become aware of an issue like this, and any of them could have tried to get GM to do the right thing with a recall, switch re-design, etc. But because this did not happen until recently, after this problem hit the press, shows a general lack of corporate control and responsibility. So GM as a corporation will pay $$ dearly for this, as they should, but naming those names now accomplishes nothing unless GM wants to provide full disclosure as to why those particular people were selected for firing. I doubt their legal team would allow that.

However - I think a strong case could be made to legally pursue those in charge who did not fix this situation, allowing many to die needlessly. Too often corporations are forced to pay for the individual sins of it's employees, but that trend to not hold employees responsible for their own actions should change. At some point employee criminal activity cannot hide behind their corporate employer, and individuals should be charged based on their actions. And if that can happen here with GM then names can be released

But to simply disclose the names of those fired, without any explanation, would not be right. Should the truly responsible people be held accountable for the deaths caused by this faulty switch? Absolutely, and if they are then charged then names can be released, cases built and explained.