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GM Fired 15 Employees for Incompetence and Neglect in Probe of Ignition Switch Defect

Thursday, February 23, 2017By Richard Alexander

The more you learn about the events surrounding GM’s ignition switch scandal, the more troubling it becomes. Characterizing the events as “deeply troubling,” GM fired 15 employees as a result of the fatal ignition switch defect.

GM hired a former federal prosecutor, Anton Valukas, to conduct an internal investigation on its behalf. The result of the probe was a 315-page report outlining multiple instances of wrongful conduct on GM’s behalf.

Here is just a sampling of the wrongdoing outlined in the report:

  • “fail[ing] to recognize that cars shutting off posed a safety risk by disabling the airbags”;
  • “neglect[ing] to share information about complaints and crashes”;
  • “treat[ing] problems as someone else’s responsibility to fix”; and
  • “ignor[ing] data showing evidence of a possible defect.”

At bottom, the report found “a pattern of incompetence and neglect.” As a result of the investigation, GM fired 15 employees, eight of whom were executives.

Here are a few of those whose employment was terminated, according to Automotive News:

  • Ray DeGiorgio, the switch designer;
  • Gary Altman, the Chevy Cobalt program engineering manager;
  • Bill Kemp, a senior safety lawyer;
  • Carmen Benavides, a product investigation director; and
  • Gay Kent, a product investigation director.

Others in the engineering, legal, public policy, and quality departments were also fired or chose to leave after the report was completed.

It is good that GM commissioned an outside party to look into these horrific circumstances and that it took affirmative steps against insiders whose irresponsible actions laid lives on the line. Unfortunately, it’s all too little, too late for many victims and their families.

If you need expert advice after crash involving a GM product, contact the experienced, compassionate lawyers at Alexander Law Group, LLP. Call us today at 888.777.1776 for a free case consultation. We have decades of experience representing those injured in car crashes and their families, and we’ll put our experience to work for you.

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