By on June 16, 2014

GM Next

In its criminal investigation into General Motors, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharra’s office are summoning current and former employees to come to New York for interviews regarding the automaker’s actions over the ignition switch behind the February 2014 product recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

The Wall Street Journal reports the federal prosecutor’s office is seeking out those who were named in the Valukas Report for the voluntary interviews, including the 15 who were cast out of GM following the report’s release earlier this month. The report itself is being lauded by prosecutors on the state and federal levels for its depth and detail, though some caution may come from the report’s clearing of current CEO Mary Barra and her senior executives of any wrongdoing in relation to the decade-plus delay of the part’s recall.

That said, those who don’t voluntarily comply with the request may find themselves subpoenaed before a grand jury later on, and without a lawyer at their side as they testify under oath. However, those who do make the trip to Manhattan will likely receive favorable treatment from prosecutors during their interviews, including limited immunity deals in exchange for all they know.

The investigation is among the few that are ongoing between federal and state officials, including those of the attorneys general in 11 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada and New York. All investigations are in the early phase, and prosecutors are keeping their cards close to the vest from the defense for the time being.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

8 Comments on “Federal Prosecutors Summon GM Employees For Recall Interviews...”


  • avatar
    LALoser

    Another witch hunt for the cameras.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    This cannot just rest with the lower level engineers. Design changes drive PPAP’s. Which involve tooling, purchasing, DV and PV testing and numerous documentation that goes up via service and manufacturing arms of the OEM.

    All of this requires rubber stamp approvals by management. To change something that requires a PPAP and not bump the part number is criminal. Suppliers don’t just retool for free and without documentation unless they are making parts out of a barn or a garage.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      You last paragraph describes how it is supposed to work. Having worked in manufacturing for over 18 years (including a GM parts division, a heavy truck mfgr, and two parts suppliers), I have seen too much to know that the procedure is not always followed.

      Here’s my take: engineers at the lower levels (at both GM and Delphi) knew that the original switch didn’t meet the minimum torque requirements, but didn’t/couldn’t do anything about it due to the intense pressure to meet production deadlines (to redesign and requalify the switch, and to make the hard tooling for the redesigned parts, we’re talking about, what, at least 6 months? Maybe three at best.).

      Then, at a later point when other changes were being made to the ignition system, the GM engineer saw the opportunity to sneak in the fix for the torque problem as a running change (as an experienced engineer at a mfg. company, one learns when the windows of opportunity are open in order to make design changes). How is this justified? Playing devil’s advocate, one could say that the improved switch meets the same form, fit, and function of the original part, with the obvious rub being how one defines the term ‘function.’

      I’ve personally had to track down a few component malfunctions that were due to the supplier making a change that they felt was so insignificant that they didn’t feel the need to notify their customers, grrrr.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Yeah, but Delphi did this on blind faith they would get paid.

        Even running changes require the same style of approvals. What happened was the part # did bump (at least from what I understand). Which means that it never went through a Design Change or any other Program working meeting to approve the said change.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    If I were in the position of any of these people being “summoned”, I wouldn’t pay a cent to travel to New York, away from my records – didn’t George III do that to the colonists? I’m pretty sure that’s listed in the Declaration of Independence as one of his abuses.

    I’d also insist on making a deposition in a court where ALL parties are under oath, with a court recorder keeping track of all questions and answers, as a public record, and I’d have my lawyer with me. We’ve seen far too much misconduct by federal agencies (FBI, IRS, VA, ATF) to give them any benefit of the doubt.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Calling APaGttH. They recalled the W and G bodies, though strangely some of the G and Ws are missing. I guess there was no Park Avenue between 2000 and 2005 and no Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008 was there? Wait maybe they had magic ignition switches which worked?

    “The vehicles covered include the Buick Lacrosse, model years 2005-9; Chevrolet Impala, 2006-14; Cadillac Deville, 2000-05; Cadillac DTS, 2004-11; Buick Lucerne, 2006-11; Buick Regal LS and RS, 2004-5; and Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2006-8.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/business/gm-recalls-3-million-more-cars.html


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    baconator - Yup, truly the last of a breed with the NA inline-6. Enjoy the car!
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    JimZ - if kids are something which happen “before you know it” you probably shouldn’t have slept through health class.
  • Re: Ramcharger Rebirth

    JimZ - “Where are the gas powered tractors hauling 100k lbs down the highway” Right here, jackwagon: http://www.freep.com/story/mon ey/cars/chrysler/2015/12/04...
  • Re: Ramcharger Rebirth

    krhodes1 - Slow and steady. Sucked a lot of gas too. But you’d get to the top of the hill eventually. I agree, we are unbelievably spoiled for vehicle performance in the US. I...
  • Re: Ramcharger Rebirth

    krhodes1 - Always an interesting argument, gas vs. diesel. I think a better way is comparing engines of comparable torque output. Say a 500lb-ft gas engine to a 500lb-ft diesel. The gas...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    415s30 - Well the German SUVs are pretty bad and definitely stock. The damn tail lights are bright too, on a foggy SF morning heading into the city the massive lights...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    415s30 - Uh whatever those huge Audi SUVs are sporting pretty much blind me, I am all for making that crap illegal. The lead up to the Golden Gate Bridge in the...
  • Re: Inside Stories From the War Between Automakers And Dealers Over Exports

    krhodes1 - Between personal exemption and deductions you (and I) pay nothing at all on a BIG chunk of income (assuming you own real...
  • Re: Inside Stories From the War Between Automakers And Dealers Over Exports

    jthorner - It is well established law that once a person buys a product they are free to resell it when and where they like....
  • Re: 2016 Ford Escape SE AWD Rental Review

    Japanese Buick - Count me among the AUX jack enthusiasts. It’s good to have available for when the Bluetooth glitches out and the phone and car blame each other...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked