For a Decade, G.M. Response to a Fatal Flaw Was to Shrug

I’ll be honest, the GM internal report of its failure to properly deal with the ignition switch problem on its cars is nothing short of infuriating. Despite multiple reports of accidents where the air bags did not deploy and the ignition was on “accessory”, GM was unable to understand it even had a problem. In the meantime, people died.

GM denies there was a coverup and has terminated a small number of employees, including the engineer who originally approved the defective ignition switches (and then later quietly replaced it with a properly-operating one). But the story isn’t “rogue employees” it’s a corporation where such behavior is possible. It’s what happens when the only way a mistake gets noticed is when it costs the company money.

Not mentioned in the article but worth considering is that the defect only affected low-end cars intended for young and less wealthy customers. One wonders if GM would have been as nonchalant had this affected Cadillacs.

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