By on June 12, 2014

Mary Barra

As promised in April before both the U.S. House and Senate, General Motors CEO Mary Barra will appear next Wednesday in Washington, D.C. for a second round of congressional hearings over the February 2014 GM ignition switch recall.

Automotive News reports Barra will be accompanied by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas, who was called upon by GM to independently investigate and report the findings on the how and why an out-of-spec ignition switch made at the turn of the millennium became the monster that flipped the automaker on its head nearly 14 years later. Both Barra and Valukas will meet with the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss the latter’s findings.

According to a statement made by GM, Barra’s visit is meant to update the committee “on the actions GM is taking in response” to the recall, including “fixing the failures identified in the Valukas report, building a culture centered on safety, quality and excellence, and doing what’s right for victims and their families.” The report cleared Barra and top execs of wrongdoing regarding the switch and recall, and proclaimed no cover-up in the matter.

The Senate Commerce Committee is still conducting its investigation into GM, but has not at this time set up an appointment with Barra and Valukas for its own hearing over the report.

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8 Comments on “Barra, Valukas To Meet With House Committee Next Week...”


  • avatar
    Jasbro1

    “And doing what’s right for victims and their families.”

    Uh huh. “Unless we can get away with it.”

    I hope the defence of C11 unwinds due to the obvious malfeasance still endemic to GM. It is literally unbelievable she did not know about a decade long liability exposure of this magnitude. Turn up the heat, the private sector lawyers will stir the grits until the deception unravels like, well, 80’s X caar.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Isn’t it Hanlon’s razor that’s something like: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Unfortunately it is possible for GM management not to know about the problem. It appears that company processes actively compartmentalized information. Lawyers working on lawsuits didn’t share information with each other or their boss. There was a Sgt. Schultz “I know nothing!” culture that discouraged taking notes and leaving a paper trail.

      “I know nothing…”
      [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgcxGFmYyPs&feature=kp]

      It appears that nobody at GM wanted to know anything that would endanger their jobs and people who didn’t know didn’t get fired.

  • avatar
    rdsymmes

    I wonder if Ms Barra would have fought to reach the top of GM if she had known her future would be defined by her courtroom behavior.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Oooooooooooooooooooooo…a made for soundbite show hearing.

    Time to pop some popcorn.

  • avatar
    George B

    Did the federal government collude with GM to delay the ignition switch recall until after the government sold its ownership stake in GM? It appears that both GM and the NHTSA had investigated the problem of airbags failing to deploy many years before the recall started.

    http://www.npr.org/2014/03/31/297158876/timeline-a-history-of-gms-ignition-switch-defect

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/18/business/gms-ignition-problem-who-knew-what-when.html?_r=0

    I’d look especially closely at the time period between the start of the lawsuit that exposed the ignition switch modification without a part number change and key stock sale and election dates.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Pass the tinfoil hats around.

      This has already been resoundingly dismissed by the B&B here.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Probably shouldn’t have written “collude” since I’ve seen no evidence to even suggest any coordinated effort. Instead, there doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency on the part of the NHTSA between 2010 when they couldn’t find a trend and 2014 when the NHSTA starts to act. The NHTSA was all over the airbag deployment problem in 2007 and figured out that there was some ignition switch connection in 2008. It is exceptionally difficult to track down the root cause of low probability events, but the NHTSA appears to have made less effort investigate at the time when more information was becoming available.


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