By on April 3, 2014

U.S. senator accuses GM of 'culture of cover-up'

On the second and final day of testimony before Congress, The Detroit Press reports the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee fired several volleys at General Motors CEO Mary Barra over her lack of answers or greater action during the ongoing GM ignition recall crisis.

Finding no allies from either side of the aisle, Barra faced tough questions and criticisms from the members of the subcommittee, with the toughest attacks drawn from subcommittee head Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. The senator proclaimed former engineer Ray DeGiorgio “repeatedly lied” about knowledge of the April 2006 fix of the out-of-spec ignition switch, citing GM’s “culture of cover-up” as encouragement for egregious violations of the public trust.

Barra’s alleged lack of knowledge of the issues surrounding the switch recall came back to haunt her when Senator Barbara Boxer of California declared the CEO “didn’t know anything about anything,” and wondered why someone with the resume Barra has could not know anything during the 33 years she had been a part of General Motors.

Other highlights from the Senate hearing include:

  • Barra not committing to when GM’s own investigator, Anton Valukas, could be made available for questioning by the Senate, saying the decision was his to make
  • Barra not knowing how many lawsuits have been filed in relation to the out-of-spec switch, nor having been counseled by GM’s general counsel
  • Barra stating no one involved with the recall still under GM’s employ had been fired, would take action if internal investigation determined as such
  • Senator Dean Heller of Nevada wanting supplier Delphi to testify
  • Barra clarifying her comment to the House about sharing information from the internal investigation
  • GM agreeing to share documents provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with the subcommittee

Moving over to The White House, the Obama administration aims to do all they can to get a handle on the case before them, as Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest informed reporters aboard Air Force One during the President’s visit to Ypsilanti, Mich.:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — or NHTSA — has opened a formal investigation to whether GM shared the information they had about this issue as quickly as they should. Secretary Foxx has also asked the inspector general of the Department of Transportation to conduct an audit to provide a single, comprehensive review of NHTSA’s work in this case.

Finally, The Detroit News posits that Barra’s legacy — and that of General Motors — would long be haunted by nine words uttered by an unknown GM engineer in 2005 over fixing the out-of-spec switch: “None of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.”

On the lawsuit front, attorney Dana Taschner — one of the lawyers involved in the 15 lawsuits filed in federal court on behalf of affected Chevrolet Cobalt owners — wants the cases consolidated and sent before U.S. District Judge James Selina in Santa Ana, Calif., according to Bloomberg. Tascher’s reasoning is that Selina, who is presiding over the cases linked to Toyota’s unintentional acceleration debacle, is the right judge for the job of taking GM to task:

The scope of the expanding recall and number of cars and consumers involved will result in a high volume of lawsuits filed in multiple jurisdictions warranting coordinated or consolidated proceeding.

Detroit Free Press reports safety advocate and chairman emeritus of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen Joan Claybrook is calling for reform from both GM and the NHTSA. Regarding the former, Claybrook believes Barra “has more power than any GM executive probably ever had,” and could lead the reform path toward a focus on safety over costs.

As for the latter, Claybrook — who led the agency between 1977 and 1981 — wants the NHTSA to have more resources available to do its duty to the public, change the complaint-filing process for ease-of-use by consumers, and be granted the authority to purse criminal charges against automakers who fail to recall dangerous products.

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88 Comments on “Barra Testifies Before US Senate Subcommittee...”


  • avatar
    sirwired

    I wonder how much we’ll hear in the comments section here from the people that were confidently predicting a complete softball hearing Because Obama/Democrats/Liberals/Government Motors/”East Coast Media”/etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      I’m sure the paid posters, and those with a political axe to grind will be back.
      ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Eh, the ObamaDems already got their money. (And in true libbie fashion, actually consider a $9.7 billion loss on their investment a “win.” Maybe because the money was never theirs in the first place, but ours.)

      I was rather heartened to see Little Ms. Mary beaten down yesterday. Whether by legal design or simple incompetence, she managed to look even worse than I expected, and my expectations were already somewhere down around the QC levels of a Cobalt.

      Great job, GM. You managed to dress up Susan “Volt Dance” Docherty in a finer suit.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I share that sentiment. It’s too bad that Mary Barra has to take the fall but she is the CEO.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Succinctly & Accurately Destroys Any Possible Defense of GM’s Actions (btw – GM knew about defective ignition switch since 2001):

        http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/li1grj/true-defective–gm—ms–barra-goes-to-washington

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        Errr… you seem to have conveniently forgotten (or omitted) that the bailout was started before Obama ever took office.

        • 0 avatar
          SayMyName

          Dubya loaned GM money to get them through the election, leaving any further decisions to his successor. Whether he was right or wrong in doing so (I think he should have let nature take its course) it was the proper decision at the time.

          The true bailout belongs to BarryO.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            Wow… so, after Bush tossed them some money (and it was “the proper decision”) which got the bailout going, it nevertheless “truly belongs” to “BarryO” who would have been in the even less enviable position of pulling the rug out from under GM, which would have pointlessly flushed every penny of the Bush’s $13.4B bailout payment down the toilet?

            Yeah, THAT makes sense.

          • 0 avatar
            SayMyName

            Worth noting that, had Barry done exactly that, taxpayers would have “only” lost another $3.7 billion than we did in the end.

            Of course, GM would have died and lots of low-skill jobs would be gone, which of course would have impacted the larger economy for a relatively brief period. It’s only a matter of time before that happens anyway, though, so personally I’d have preferred that Dubya had let GM die when he had the chance. I don’t believe in forestalling the inevitable, or spending billions in Chinese-backed capital to do it.

            I understand Bush’s reasoning (misplaced altruism?) in not wishing to dump such a mess off on his successor, though.

          • 0 avatar

            > Of course, GM would have died and lots of low-skill jobs would be gone, which of course would have impacted the larger economy for a relatively brief period.

            Hilarious. Is this your personal economic assessment or just off some blog equally clueless about how numbers work?

        • 0 avatar
          VCplayer

          The major difference between the Bush bailout and the Obama bailout was that GM was in bankruptcy when it was bailed out, and a number of messy legal things were done violating the usual rules for such situations.

          There are actually multiple categories of people who dislike the auto bailouts.

          -People upset about bankruptcy law begin ignored.
          -People upset at the government essentially giving money to corporations.
          -People upset at ANY government interference in private sector.
          -People who hate GM (they have a lot of reasons).
          -And of course, partisans.

          Just because someone doesn’t like the Obama bailouts doesn’t mean their objection is strictly partisan in nature, there’s no reason to go there and much up the discussion even more.

          Also, it is not illogical to be more upset at Obama than Bush for the bailouts. The Obama bailout was much more extensive and involved much larger sums of money.

          Likewise, shouldn’t Bush also get credit for saving GM if you support the Obama bailout? GM might not have been there for the Obama administration to save without Bush.

          Basically it’s a silly point to quibble over.

          • 0 avatar

            > -People upset about bankruptcy law begin ignored.

            > Just because someone doesn’t like the Obama bailouts doesn’t mean their objection is strictly partisan

            I recall ~100% of the material written at the time on this matter was fundamentally clueless about how BK or finance or frankly anything works. Mostly it was conservatives hating on life and liberals hating on conservatives.

            I also recall pch101 was one of the few people on the web period purveying some functional understanding of the situation, which is depressing considering how many people in this country work in finance.

      • 0 avatar

        The taxpayer loss came because Treasury was in a big hurry to get shed of the stock for political reasons. Of course, if they had known about this scandal they had good reason to sell earlier than they might have.

        However, it is easy to second guess with the advantage of hind sight. The lost $9.7 billion was a bargain in the big picture. The $9.7 billion is understated because of the ongoing tax breaks provided, but it is still a bargain. Without even considering the ripple impact through the supplier base, which would have crippled global auto production for a spell, just the liability dropped on the PBGC would have exceeded $9.7 billion. We got a bargain.

        I don’t get the part about the Obama/Libs. The bailout of GM and Chrysler had its roots in the Bush 43 administration. The Obama administration merely finished the job. Bush and Cheney were Libs? Who knew?

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      And after all day…

      *crickets*

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I do find it curious that all of this has come to national light “after”, right after, the Treasury sold their remaining shares in GM making it a completely publically, non government owned company again.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I wonder whether more than a few women might suspect that Barra got the top position in anticipation of being thrown to the wolves. Whatever her experience at GM, there’s no way she or anyone else new to this job was going to come out alive. The irony, of course, is that it’s unlikely Barra played any role whatever in the current debacle. I’m guessing that the real weasels will slither out of this unharmed, as they so often do.

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Much like I despise the notion that an incompetent boob could be twice-elected to the highest position in the land because of his race, I am appalled to consider that Barra was promoted solely to put a softer face on GM’s many sins.

      There appears to be very little reason for her to have been made CEO otherwise, however. And either she knew it going in (hard to believe she couldn’t have been, as a 31-year GM lifer) or Barra is too ignorant/blinded by her title to have considered the possibility she was being set up as a stooge from the moment the job was offered to her.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I also agree with that.

      • 0 avatar

        RE: “Much like I despise the notion that an incompetent boob could be twice-elected to the highest position in the land because of his race”

        It might have something to do with the Republicans melting down the global economy. If the current President is the boob you say he is, what does that say about his opposition?

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          They’re all boobs, ruggles, but they’re bought boobs, and that makes them special.

        • 0 avatar

          > It might have something to do with the Republicans melting down the global economy. If the current President is the boob you say he is, what does that say about his opposition?

          No, see, it was the fault of those black people and n******-lovers, and probably women, too. That’s how the conservative ethos in this country works:

          > Much like I despise the notion that an incompetent boob could be twice-elected to the highest position in the land because of his race, I am appalled to consider that Barra was promoted solely to put a softer face on GM’s many sins.

          Nevermind Barra was promoted when this was all just a routine recall before it blew up in the media. You know, the left-wing media conspiracy whose sole purpose is to make these morons look bad rather than just sensationalize tragedy for ratings.

          These really are the most dumbass backward people on earth.

          • 0 avatar

            “No, see, it was the fault of those black people and n******-lovers, and probably women, too. That’s how the conservative ethos in this country works:”

            You forgot the Jews and Catholics and the Queers.

          • 0 avatar

            > You forgot the Jews and Catholics and the Queers.

            No the jews are ok now they’ve figured out zion is necessary for precipitating end times.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            “u mad” —

            I understand the point you’re trying to make, but the language is too inflammatory.

            Dial it back, please.

          • 0 avatar

            “That’s how the conservative ethos in this country works”

            http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

            The false accusation of racism is the moral equivalent of bigotry. There’s a reason why bearing false witness made it to the Top 10.

          • 0 avatar

            > http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman The false accusation of racism is the moral equivalent of bigotry. There’s a reason why bearing false witness made it to the Top 10.

            A strawman implies absence of existence, but in our reality those who supported segregation,etc and their kin are very much alive to crack blackhouse jokes or write what was just quoted.

            However the subsequent cultural ban on honesty of opinion on these matters relegated their expression to more subtle forms such as xenophobia (aka “nation is not a race”) or various other innuendos.

            Pleading innocence while associating with parties of such characters implies either ignorance or disregard of said underlying realities. While not equally damning, neither reflects well.

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            “Pleading innocence while associating with parties of such characters implies either ignorance or disregard of said underlying realities. While not equally damning, neither reflects well.”

            There’s truth to that, but it makes me wonder where you come down on the issue of the piles of bodies that well-meaning leftists left in their wake throughout the 20th century.

            Accusing a group as large and ill-defined as “conservatives” of guilt be association is silly and you know it. I guarantee there are people out there you abhor who vote for the same politicians as you do.

          • 0 avatar

            > but it makes me wonder where you come down on the issue of the piles of bodies that well-meaning leftists left in their wake throughout the 20th century.

            Consider reading Animal Farm if you haven’t, and note that it was written by a socialist if you have.

            > Accusing a group as large and ill-defined as “conservatives” of guilt be association is silly and you know it.

            The population of racists is less ill-defined than many suppose even since they went underground. Recall that segregation was not ended by the vote but fed intervention. Those aware of how numbers work and the ratio of minorities (presuming they’re opposed to being subjugated) can calculate the sheer popularity of wide open bigotry well within living memory.

            Assuming there was no force field at the Mason-Dixon line to further segregate the n-lovers from the haters this wasn’t just a phenomenon confined to the south, though the doppler-shift in ideological alignment there was particularly revealing.

            So unless this is a game of historical revisionism, we know who these people are and where they came from.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          ruggles: It might have something to do with the Republicans melting down the global economy.

          People who really understand what happened realize that it was a bipartisan effort.

          • 0 avatar

            > People who really understand what happened realize that it was a bipartisan effort.

            It didn’t have much to do with political effort but rather lack of it which is a different kind of thing.

          • 0 avatar
            geeber

            The “lack of effort” was bipartisan, too.

          • 0 avatar
            LALoser

            The American system can be fickle. A few years before the paper froze deregulation and hands off was the mantra..after the freeze, “the government was asleep at the wheel”..

          • 0 avatar

            > The “lack of effort” was bipartisan, too.

            Sure, but all that proves is the D party can do-nothing with the best of them. The difference is that some still don’t recognize the truth of this:

            > “the government was asleep at the wheel”..

      • 0 avatar
        VCplayer

        Even if you know you’re being set up to fail, it’s really hard to work your way up the corporate chain your whole life and NOT take the big chair when it’s your turn. You work too long and too hard not to take that opportunity, even if it’s a long shot.

        We’re getting ahead of ourselves though, whatever beating GM takes for this it won’t matter as long as she can maintain profits and grow the company.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I do wonder how Ackerson would have handled this.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Derreck, I believe Sen Dean Heller is from Nevada.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    SayMyName: That was a mean comment.

    Although I have found GM’s attitude disgusting, it is not more disgusting than BP, Exxon, or any of the too-big-to-fail banks.

    Yes, people died in this case. But to make a political statement from an engineering negligence is stretching it a little don’t you agree?

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Sorry, Schmitt, but mean is the new normal. It’s a sign of weakness masquerading as strength. It proliferates on the internet, and even a sterling site like TTAC isn’t immune. As for your statement about “engineering negligence”, I fear that it’s much more than that. This was, it certainly appears, a big-time coverup that had to originate pretty high up the corporate ladder. I don’t think engineers make such decisions. BTW, we give these high-level corporate characters too much credit. Time after time, they do stupid things in a panic. To not change the part number is a disaster foretold. But will the guilty pay?

      • 0 avatar

        IMHO it is about the drive to curtail costs, the same thing the Chinese are so often accused of, and rightfully so. WAY too many shortcuts taken. Its one of the pitfalls of market competition.

        This seems like a possible replay of the Pinto debacle at Ford decades ago. Ford has had its share of these kinds of scandals. I recall my parents 1958 Ford station wagon would mysterious leap out of park for no apparent reason, leaving her to chase down a car full of kids. I wonder how many died during that era.

        Then we had the Audi and Toyota scandals, which turned out to be mostly contrived, despite the big fine paid by Toyota.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          Vehicle quality is up dramatically across the board over the past 25 years, and that is thanks largely to market competition.

          This really isn’t like the Ford Pinto case. A good article that explains what really happened with the Pinto is “The Myth of the Ford Pinto Case,” by Gary T. Schwartz.

          It was published in the Summer 1991 issue of Rutgers Law Review. The article effectively demolishes most of the popular narrative regarding that case, including the infamous “smoking gun” memo by Ford (which, in reality, was NOT written about the Pinto and its gas tank).

    • 0 avatar
      SayMyName

      Nope. Everything involving GM comes down to politics.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I’m surprised that the defenders of GM haven’t stepped up to flog you in writing like they did me after I made comments stating that everything that dealt with GM’s bailout and nationalization was rooted in politics.

        • 0 avatar
          SayMyName

          Give ‘em time. I’m sure the true Barlievers will weigh in before too long.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I meant to post this here, in response to SMN’s comments, rather than further above:

            The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Succinctly & Accurately Destroys Any Possible Defense of GM’s Actions (btw – GM knew about defective ignition switch since 2001):

            http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/li1grj/true-defective–gm—ms–barra-goes-to-washington

        • 0 avatar

          Defenders of GM? We could have a debate on whether or not it was wise for the new corp to use the old corp’s name.

          Let’s defend the facts, not a company.

          Are there still people saying the only reason GM and Chrysler were bailed out was because of politics?

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Ruggles, as long as there’s those brave, stupid souls of the Tin-Foil-Hat Brigade who subscribe to the 9/11 conspiracy and the Illuminati causing the Great Recession, and who have now recently set sail on the U.S.S. BatSh** prefering to believe that aliens, the Illuminati, terrorists, top-secret technology and even internationally-renowned recording artist Pitbull hold keys to the truth of the missing Boeing 777, they’ll believe (and parrot) whatever poo-nugget falls from the blogs and talk radio tells them to believe.

        • 0 avatar

          > I’m surprised that the defenders of GM haven’t stepped up to flog you in writing like they did me after I made comments stating that everything that dealt with GM’s bailout and nationalization was rooted in politics.

          Nice to see you made some other “independent” friends.

          Do you suppose this inverse relationship between independence and basic numbers or facts is just correlation or causal?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Star of the show: The Yawning Man.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Mrs Barra has, at least, the balls to carry this to the public. I think there are very few people who will handle this well and, rightfully so, may people are pissed. Blaming Mrs. Barra is that old saying about closing the barn door after it’s fled. Ask her the hard questions by all means though. I say let the justice system and law take it’s course here but give Mrs. Barra credit for having a set, unlike her predecessors.
    As to those who blame the current administration because politics is always involved… Lets get 2 things straight. Politics is involved in every aspect of our and businesses lives, yes, but not to the level of detail that we can draconianly blame a company for a series of business fails on specific political figures or administrations, that is just nonsense. To put it simply, please explain how Mr. Obama sent a direct instructions to GM via Mary Barra to build a faulty fire starting part?
    This is a GM problem fair and square.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    “Finally, The Detroit News posits that Barra’s legacy — and that of General Motors — would long be haunted by nine words uttered by an unknown GM engineer in 2005 over fixing the out-of-spec switch: ‘None of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.’”

    Shades of the Pinto Memo.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Akerson’s legacy is Barra herself. Credit where it’s due: Peter DeLorenzo at Autoextremist has done a fine job of detailing what a gasbag Akerson was, and installing a PR flack as his successor is his final gesture of contempt for the auto company CEO job itself and the skills needed to do it better than he did.

      As pointed out above, it’s certainly not fair to deem the outcome of this fiasco as “Barra’s legacy.” By the time she took the CEO’s chair, the only thing left for her to do was to stammer in front of congressional hearings and sign off on the nine-figure settlement when it’s finalized.

      Finally, the usual suspects posting here have reached the point where it’s not even worth bothering to reply to them at much length anymore. Government Motors, shoulda let all the workers sink into poverty, What? Billionaires Pay Taxes?!, blah blah blah. Sure, whatever.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        DeLorenzo isn’t exactly gas-free himself.

        I’m not inclined to give much weight to his rants about the various personalities. His comments about Marchionne in particular verge on xenophobia, which only hurt his credibility as an industry observer.

        • 0 avatar
          geeber

          DeLorenzo’s columns usually manage to be as much about DeLorenzo as anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            +1. I’m surprised PDL hasn’t had a massive coronary yet from all that bile and jealous resentment he’s built up over the years.

          • 0 avatar

            Just out of curiosity I looked up his comments on the new GM mgmt:

            http://www.autoextremist.com/current/2014/2/10/what-next-for-gm.html

            It reads like “scathing critic” mad libs. How come there’s nothing about GM particulars? Is this guy supposed to know something about the auto industry?

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Barra inherited this mess and her legacy in the matter will be determined by how she manages the crisis. Others (Wagoner and Akerson) will be blamed for the cover-up. Ultimately it is the company’s name that will be tarnished more than any individual.

        I swore off GM over a decade ago and do not have a dog in this fight. I find the GM bashers and defenders equally amusing. There is plenty of hysteria on both sides.

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          u mad scientist = PDL doesn’t know anything about the auto industry. OK, maybe what “good marketing” is supposed to look like — circa 1970.

          Whatever PDL did know stopped being relevant around 5 years ago if not sooner. With all his venomous hatred of GM management, Sweet Pete always lacks specifics from the “true believers” who are supposedly carrying the enthusiast flame over there.

          Unvarnished Truth, my eye. I really think he makes some of this stuff up. The only responses he runs are fawning, a-kissing letters from the same guys week after week. Challenge his stance on anything and he’ll just rip you a new one. I consider being banned @AE an honor.

      • 0 avatar

        PDL comes off as a self important db but that doesn’t mean he might not be on to something. As an outside observer his arguments that Reuss was the much better qualified CEO candidate seem pretty sound. Maybe Barra will end up resigning over this mess and Reuss will get the job after all

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          If that happens, great for the fanboys and Sweet Pete’s True Believers. They’ll finally get their brown station wagons with manual transmissions — which will sell about as well as the ELR.

          Point being Reuss, Barra, all of them are products of a fish-rotting-at-the-head culture. Say what you will about Congress, at least they’re exposing it. Seeing Barra engage in all those empathy-filled yet empty answers is disgusting. To me, it proves that attitude-wise, GM is not all that far advanced from “Unsafe at Any Speed.”

          Then again, I’m just angry and may be over-reacting.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          If I recall correctly (and admittedly, I don’t read his stuff consistently, so I could be mistaken), DeLorenzo likes Reuss because he is a “car guy.”

          I’m sorry, but that doesn’t necessarily make one CEO material. The jobs of a CEO are to craft a strategic vision for the business and to sell that vision to the employees and, as necessary, to the outside world. I’m not sure if Barra is optimal for the job, but I wouldn’t consider her “car guy” cred or lack thereof to be a reason why she isn’t.

          • 0 avatar

            > If I recall correctly (and admittedly, I don’t read his stuff consistently, so I could be mistaken), DeLorenzo likes Reuss because he is a “car guy.”

            Both Reuss and Barra were ostensibly engineers, and Delorenzo does advertising so it’s unlikely he’s qualified to make such assertions.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Great work, Cameron. I like how TTAC is covering this.

  • avatar

    RE: “None of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.”

    Yes, damning!

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “…Senator Barbara Boxer of California declared the CEO “didn’t know anything about anything,”…”

    She would know.

    The idea of Senators, most of whom are too stupid to hold a middle manager position at a Fortune 500 company, lecturing a CEO about such things, rubs me the wrong way.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Boxer isn’t stupid, but she is arrogant and crooked. Those are traits that help her get re-elected in a state that cares only about the D next to her name.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Isn’t it rich that congress with all there years of failed policies are preaching to a woman that only started 2 months ago about hers?

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Yes, it is rich. But these Congressional hearings are usually full of righteous indignation, hot air and sanctimony. Both parties are guilty. The few panelists who conduct themselves with dignity and decency are almost seen as outliers, weak when great certitude is the order of the day. The hearings are mostly showcases for showboats, and they’re mostly nauseating.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1

      Ms Barra couldn’t have had close knowledge of such tedious details as ignition switch design and life cycle, but these ridiculous hearings always assume the CEO/leader on the griddle is omnicient about an organization with 200k employees.

      And she’s smart not to make a legal commitment her company can’t keep.

  • avatar
    BillWilliam

    You’ve got that right. Somewhere, someone or somebody [ies] are tossing back a bourbon or two….and saying ….pheww, that was a narrow escape…..

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    .. it’s rather moral problem .. (like in ‘Pinto case’..)

    but this ‘big-capital’ over values problem is everywhere..

    Do You ever wonder why senat is not aking banksters or (‘spooky’)silicon-valley representatives about their .. ‘para-normal activity’ ..

  • avatar
    stanczyk

    How about to call all previous CEO’s(Barra is fresh there, so she just share a litle part of responsibility) before-us-senate-subcommittee.. and how about to take back their huge bonuse$ . and than tax them hard !!! .. :)

    ‘ we give these high-level corporate characters too much credit. Time after time, they do stupid things in a panic. To ‘ – they are just ‘marionette-tools’ in hands of ‘real OWNers’ :) (like Barra is)

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    GM planned CEO change before hell broke loose. It’s what Nissan did with their Japanese CEO. They brought in Carlos Ghosn to take the blame for Nissan’s catastrophic loss of profits and significant quality problems. The difference is Ghosn admitted to the accusations. Barra has been whipped by GM lawyers and her husband.

  • avatar
    VCplayer

    Congressional bullying at its finest.

    Unless some evidence directly links Barra to the coverup of this, it’s really very unfair that she’s being treated this way. Unfortunately, she’s the figurehead of the company and ceremonial scapegoat for when all else fails.

    If the committee was really interested in placing the blame correctly they’d have Rick Wagner up there.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Agree with you completely there, VCPLayer. Red Ink Rick got $10 million to play golf and never talk about GM again. Can a Federal subpeona over ride whatever his separation agreement is?

      Sadly though, I think it would just be political bloodsport. It wouldn’t surprise me that the decision to reject the 57-cent ignition fix never made it up the food chain to hapless Rick and his Board of Bystanders. Mary Barra may be a stooge, but she might be telling the truth. GM remains that dysfunctional.

  • avatar
    DGA

    What I got from the second day of questioning:
    Boxer is a moron. Not too much of a surprise there though.
    Barra just has to grit her teeth and bear it.
    If this is such a public outcry why aren’t the past CEO’s up there?


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  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India