By on May 6, 2015

2015 Cadillac ATS Near Capitol Hill Circa January 2015

A year ago, General Motors was placed under government oversight in the wake of its recall crisis. Whether the NHTSA continues babysitting the automaker is yet to be determined.

The oversight consent decree signed between GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration resulted in a record $35-million fine for the former’s role in the February 2014 ignition switch recall, as well as requiring the automaker to disclose any potential and ongoing problems, and to meet with the agency monthly about safety issues, The Detroit News reports. The decree can also be extended for up to two years, a decision agency head Mark Rosekind is discussing at present.

Rosekind praised the automaker’s willingness to be forthcoming about safety issues and improvements during those meetings, while GM spokesman Jim Cain had this to say about cooperating with the government:

We have fully complied with the terms of the consent order. More importantly, we have used our monthly meetings with NHTSA to foster a relationship that’s candid, transparent and totally focused on the safety of our customers. We’ve come a long way and we fully intend to build on this progress.

No word was given as of this writing on when a decision to extend or rescind the decree would occur.

[Photo credit: General Motors]

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20 Comments on “NHTSA: No Decision Yet On Extending General Motors’ Oversight Decree...”

  • avatar

    Pete De Lorenzo has a great (i.e. realistic) op/ed out about Mary Barra’s media “culture offensive” and Sergio’s desperate pleading for a partner on right now.

    • 0 avatar

      His comments on GM were actually reasonable.

      The guy is so far off the mark about Marchionne that Sweet Pete is turning himself into a joke. He obviously knows nothing about the kind of juggling that is inherent to turning around a failed, undercapitalized company. Marchionne has made some mistakes, but very few people could accomplish what he has.

      • 0 avatar

        I felt he was very balanced regarding the inherent extremes of Sergio, recognizing him as a stupendous deal-maker, yet calling him out for using current hot sales of Jeep & RAM products to prop up an ailing Fiat, while searching for a well-capitalized suitor for FCA (because of the inevitable slow down pickup truck slowdown cycle that will come, leaving FCA incredibly exposed due to lack of profitability in any space other than SUVs/Pickups).

        If you don’t agree with PD on what is driving Sergio’s seeming panics over finding a partner or suitor, what did he get wrong?

        • 0 avatar

          Firstly, DeLorenzo attempts to fend off criticism by upholding himself as some sort of bold voice who is targeted by the little people out of spite. He’s a pompous ass.

          Secondly, his comments about Marchionne are essentially an extended personal attack. The reality is that Marchionne has managed to use limited resources to improve the products on a shoestring, bolstering market share and giving FCA a fighting chance in the process.

          DeLorenzo wants to act as if Marchionne has no talent for the operations side of the business, which is patently ridiculous in light of what he has done to improve the cars and sell more of them. DeLorenzo doesn’t like him because he comes from the finance side and is therefore not enough of a car guy to suit Sweet Pete’s exacting standards.

          • 0 avatar

            I agree that PD is arrogant, and I’d go further and point out that many of his past calls have proven wrong.

            But regarding FCA, I think you’re giving Sergio far too much credit for improved product (much of that improvement was underway via Chrysler’s Auburn Hills engineering/R&D operations post-disaster Cerberus, and despite the wails of protest amongst many here, during the Fed Gov de facto administration of Chrysler).

            Also, the Italian side of FCA is a disaster and is weighing heavily on FCA’s profits (take Fiat products out, and Chrysler-RAM-Dodge likely would have been the most profitable “domestic” automaker in Q1).

          • 0 avatar

            One of his first efforts was to upgrade the interiors. Smart move.

            He has targeted making improvements in key segments. Another smart move. (Some of the efforts have been better than others, which does leave some room for legitimate criticism.)

            Marchionne inherited the Fiat problem in Europe. It is a highly difficult problem to fix that took decades to create, and he doesn’t have the money to fix it quickly.

            He has already begun the process of making the company less Italian, as one of its longstanding burdens is its use by the Italian government as a domestic employment scheme. His desire for a merger is probably intended to target other aspects of his Europe problem (read: VAG taking over the EU and Fiat’s limited market share outside of southern Europe.)

            Very few CEOs are equipped to lead turnarounds. There were two guys who had the talent to do it — Ghosn and Marchionne — and the automotive task force was fortunate to get one of them. DeLorenzo doesn’t see it because he knows nothing about turnarounds; he is under the delusion that one must be a “True Believer” (a car guy) in order to lead.

          • 0 avatar

            Do you at least agree that PD is correct in calling FCA’s situation in terms of being over-exposed to a downturn in pickup truck and SUV sales as a potential disaster (that could do structural damage to FCA)?

          • 0 avatar

            It is natural for companies in these situations to have vulnerabilities.

            The implication that Marchionne is unaware of this is ridiculous. He is obviously attempting to produce revenue and market share, create shareholder value and acquire cash in order to fix it.

            Some people have no business watching sausage being made. DeLorenzo doesn’t have the stomach for it, and whines, whines, whines because he doesn’t grasp that these problems cannot be fixed quickly and easily, particularly when money is tight. Turnarounds are tough because they are juggling acts, and very few people are any good at juggling.

  • avatar

    Was the ATS part of the recall

  • avatar

    Sweet Pete may choke on a bilious pile of his own venom, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.

    • 0 avatar

      In this case, it does.

      He was wrong about GM during the bailout (it turns out that the government and non-Car Guys could indeed run the business better than Car Guys) and he’s wrong here.

      De Lorenzo is a creature of old-school Detroit automotive culture, which blinds him to the failings of people like Lee Iacocca, Bob Lutz or John Z. Delorean, and uncomprehending of the successes of people like Kat Watanabe and Fujio Cho.

      • 0 avatar

        Peter DeLorenzo is like the five-year old in the back seat who can’t read a map and can’t drive, yet constantly whines to the grown ups, “Are we there yet?”

        There is one difference, though. DeLorenzo is a lot older than five, so he really ought to know better.

        • 0 avatar

          “Oh, really? You armchair pablum-puking branding experts with your little keyboards don’t know shit. I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know about the car business. My father ran General Motors PR when the place was run by real men like Bill Mitchell and Ed Cole, not a bunch of capuccino-swilling minions and mewing supplicants. So if you don’t like what we have to say at AE, it means you can’t handle the High-Octane, Unvarnished Truth!”

      • 0 avatar

        I’m willing to bet Sweet Pete offered his genius to Sergio and Olivier Francois and was rebuffed as an angry old f-l-art.

        It’s pretty well-known that he was a consultant to Daimler when they were running Chrysler. All those Super Bee stickers on RAM pickups and Chargers? Pete. Chrysler got favorable AE coverage, until they didn’t use him anymore and Cereberus/Nardelli took over.

        Nowadays, Ford seems to be getting some favorable play at AE. If they are paying him some mind or pretending to, they’re heroes for now.

        Over the years I’ve come to think Sweet Pete hates everyone who isn’t lining his pockets with consulting fees or kissing his keeshkas for his dollops of marketing brilliance.

  • avatar

    I admit I don’t know as much about De Lorenzo’s history as some here.

    If the consensus is correct, I’ll probably read his op/eds in the future with a much larger grain of salt.

  • avatar

    “Oh, really? You armchair pablum-puking branding experts with your little keyboards. What do you know? I’ve forgotten more about the car business than your pea brains could ever possibly absorb. My father ran General Motors PR when the place was run by real men, true believers with gasoline in their veins like Bill Mitchell and Ed Cole, not a bunch of capuccino-swilling minions and mewing supplicants. So if you don’t like what we have to say at AE, it means you can’t handle the High-Octane, Unvarnished Truth!”

  • avatar

    Lorenzo’s rant this week is priceless. If chutzpah was a measurable quantity, then he’d rate a 92 on a scale of 100. Marchionne would be about a lowly 37. Of course Delorenzo is completely blind to his own boastfulness.

    Sweet Pete’s self-promotional pomposity this week included :

    “We” (the royal we) set out to influence the influencers, my priceless exposure to the industry in its prime, my knack for understanding the auto executive mindset, privately I’ve been told I’m a genius, my influential ramblings on racing have changed the scene dramatically.”

    Good for a laugh each week anyway.

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