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GM CEO Takes To Video, Promises Vehicles Are Safe

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 2:58pm
Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net

Marry Barra, the current CEO of GM, is appearing in five terse videos recently-published on the company’s Fastlane blog and on YouTube in order to explain details behind the faulty ignition switch recall and what customers can expect in the future. The first of which — Is my car safe to drive? — is below.

Barra says the cars are safe, and that GM engineers have ensured that the vehicles are safe “if you only have the key or the key on only the ring.” These engineers were also asked if they would let their own families drive and ride in these vehicles, and they said, “Yes.”

As far as parts go, Barra says these will arrive at dealerships on April 7. They have gone through the company’s “complete validation process,” and they should be make quickly enough so that every vehicle will be fixed by October of this year.

Barra says the company will change its processes that oversee vehicle safety, including the naming of Jeff Boyer as the vice president of global vehicle safety. She says he will bring the “dedication and discipline” to ensure that the company has the best processes in place.

She adds: “Our goal is to make sure we have the safest vehicles on the road.”

Many are still wondering why announcing the recall took ten years. Barra says that, clearly, there are major flaws in the company’s processes. She says that a former U.S. district attorney will be brought onboard to investigate as to why the delay existed, and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Finally, Barra ends with a final message:

While these videos may help assuage concerns from customers and potential buyers, Barra still faces testimony in front of two congressional panels to explain what happened. As with Toyota, it’s unlikely that any executives will be charged with crimes for not being forthright about the dangers of this particular ignition flaw, but the company could still be fined in the billions if the Department of Justice finds criminal-level dishonesty and malfeasance.

Nevertheless, the videos are part of GM’s larger plan to appease the public, which Toyota most certainly did not do in the months — and years — following their “unintended acceleration” era.

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