“In the fall of 2002, General Motors (GM) personnel made a decision that would lead to catastrophic results.” – May 29, 2014 report to Board of Directors of General Motors by Anton Valukus
Since early this year, GM remains at the center of a very public storm after mishandling important safety information about defective ignition switches in older model cars. While 40 accidents and 13 deaths are associated with the defect, those numbers are expected to rise.
In response, GM hired Anton Valukus, a former federal prosecutor, to conduct an internal investigation into the scandal. Despite the credentials of Mr. Valukus, the report was paid for by GM and does not represent an independent opinion. The long-awaited product of this GM-sponsored investigation is in.
Some key points of the report include:
- GM officials were “misled by the GM engineer who approved the below-specification switch in the first place…”
- Through the 11-year period after discovery of the defect, GM “demonstrated no sense of urgency, right to the end.”
- Officials overseeing investigation “did not set timetables, and did not demand action.”
In May, GM signed a Consent Order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the Order, GM agrees to admit guilt to charges and pay $35 million for failure to notify the safety agency about the defect in a timely way. GM remains under investigation and the subject of multiple lawsuits.
The investigation and fall-out of this tragic episode in United States automotive history continues. If you, or a loved one, are hurt in an automobile accident in Florida caused by the negligence of others, seek skilled legal advice in Bradenton.