Howes: No Escape Yet From Recall Woes For General Motors

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

After running the gauntlet of congressional hearings, numerous recalls and personnel firings under the dark cloud of scandal created in the wake of the February 2014 recall crisis, General Motors believes it’s ready to turn the page, that everything is now in the rear view.

Not so fast.

The Detroit News‘ own Daniel Howes states that the next chapter of the story has just begun, with the combination of this week’s congressional hearing — where National Highway Traffic Safety Administration director David Friedman experienced the lash from the Senate Commerce Committee — and the revelation of 131 fatality claims submitted to the victim compensation plan GM hired compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg to run.

The transparency and independence granted to Feinberg — including weekly updates on the number and types of claims submitted and approved/rejected — and the open-ended nature of the fund itself as far as compensation is concerned are both likely to further dent the automaker’s reputation until the last claims are put through the paces mid-2015.

Further, with investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission nowhere near close to completion, as well as the possibility of Attorney General Eric Holder bringing the hammer down on GM or its lower-level execs in the same manner as Toyota suffered, it may be a long time before the automaker’s reputation recovers to what it once was.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Zackman Zackman on Sep 19, 2014

    I'm not sure if GM's reputation will ever recover from what it was - in the 1960s! As far as my 2012 Impala goes, I received a recall notice for the ignition thingy, but after talking to the service dept. at the dealership where I bought the car, he said that GM doesn't even have the parts available, yet - at least for my car. Meanwhile, in a "just in case" scenario, I have practiced a couple of times while driving by switching off the key and controlling the car to a safe stop - on roads unoccupied by other cars, of course.

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    • Stephen Stephen on Sep 19, 2014

      petezeiss, My Saturn recall notice also said going over rough road-and gravel-could cause problems. According to GM,if I drive with just the one key and only drive over super smooth roads I should be OK. What a relief!

  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 19, 2014

    This is a non-story masquerading as a story. It reads like a response post to one of the "real" stories regarding the investigation. No offense Cameron, you know I love ya, but that's my take on this. Just filler.

    • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Sep 19, 2014

      I'm not so sure it's a non-story. Seems every time I start thinking it might be safe to look at a GM again something like this blows up that sets the process back another two or three years, or forever.