Auto executives from nearly every major U.S. automaker met in Washington D.C. on Tuesday to discuss safety, recalls and technology with Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Automotive News reported.
Senior executives from 15 automakers, including General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn and Nissan North America boss Jose Munoz, met to address Foxx’s concerns that “the public has lost faith in the auto industry’s commitment to safety,” according to a letter obtained by Automotive News.
The recent snowballing recall crises at GM, FCA and other automakers concerning Takata’s airbag inflators prompted the meeting, according to reports. A spokesman for the Transportation Department said the meeting was “very productive.”
Though General Motors gave 15 of its employees the ax over their part of the February 2014 ignition switch recall, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told those in the National Press Club Monday that no one in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was fired or disciplined over their part of the recall and subsequent fallout.
In today’s General Motors digest: GM recalls a recall; the automaker gains market share in spite of itself; its bankruptcy judge believes it may have committed fraud; the U.S. Senate gets ready for a second February 2014 recall hearing; and Anthony Foxx vows to keep the heat turned up on GM.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has spoken: General Motors will pay the maximum fine of $35 million for its decade-plus delay of the recall of 2.6 million vehicles affected by an out-of-spec ignition switch linked to over 30 accidents and 13 fatalities.
With 112,000 infrastructure projects and 700,000 jobs at stake, the Obama administration and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx are both urging Congress find a way to provide funding to the United States Highway Trust Fund before the well goes dry as early as August.
(Note: header image changed based on whim of E-I-C pro tem, some will understand why — JB)
Detroit Free Press reports former General Motors vice president of communications Steve Harris has been called out of retirement to help guide his former employer through the fallout of the February 2014 ignition recall crisis “for a limited time.” According to spokesman Greg Martin, Harris’ “deep background with GM and proven experience” will be of great benefit to the company. His second return the company — the first in 2006 at the request of then-CEO Rick Wagoner after leaving in 2003 — comes on the heels of successor Selim Bingol’s resignation in April of this year.
A $302 billion, four-year plan to fund the U.S. Highway Trust Fund — and, in turn, any road and transit projects on the table during the period — was brought before Congress by the Obama administration through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
As part of a $302 billion, four-year plan to fund both infrastructure and highway funding, U.S. Transportation Secretary asked Congress to allow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to boost its maximum fine from the current $35 million levy to $300 million.
Automotive News reports General Motors’ top lawyer, Michael Millikin, is co-leading the internal investigation with former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas into the events that led to the February 2014 recall crisis that befell the automaker. The former U.S. assistant attorney joined GM in 1977, switching from battling drug lords to corporate traitors, such as the two-pronged litigation against both Volkswagen and former GM purchasing chief J. Ignacio Lopez when it was found Lopez had stolen various confidential documents upon his departure in 1993; the case was settled in 1997.
As for his current case, Millikin and his legal department found themselves under the gun earlier this month before Congress, with legislatures asking how much was known by them regarding the various lawsuits linked to the ongoing recall. GM stated its lawyer learned of the issue at the end of January 2014.
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