Date
12 December 2017
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra will soon announce the findings of an internal probe into the car recall issue. Photo: Bloomberg
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra will soon announce the findings of an internal probe into the car recall issue. Photo: Bloomberg

GM recall probe to absolve top management of cover-up: WSJ

An internal probe of General Motors over its delay in recalling defective cars is expected to conclude that there was no concerted cover-up, clearing top management of blame, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The probe will conclude that Chief Executive Mary Barra, the executives reporting directly to her, the company’s board and former CEO Dan Akerson were unaware of the problem pertaining to defective ignition switches, which led to the recall of 2.6 million cars, before December 2013, the report said.

But it will point out that managers operating in isolation failed to make connections and act on evidence of problems now linked to fatal accidents, it said.

Barra is expected to outline Thursday new steps to overhaul GM’s culture and management, including the departure of more employees, when she publicly presents the investigative findings by former US prosecutor Anton Valukas, the report said.

The dismissal will involve “a number of people,” including the engineer who designed the switch and some members of the company’s legal department, sources were quoted as saying.

But General Counsel Michael Millikin will be staying on, as the probe will absolve him of responsibility for the mishandling of safety defects and the delay of recalls, according to the report.

Following the internal investigation, the US automaker’s board is likely to create a new operational risk-management committee to more closely monitor how top executives handle potential risks, especially on the manufacturing side, it said.

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RC

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