Friday, April 4, 2014

Mary Barra and the Pesky GM Ignition Switch

Mary Barra says she had no knowledge of the faulty ignition switch until she became CEO. I'll take her at her word although others within GM have said something similar only to have it proven they did know. Additionally Ms. Barra's claim of not knowing until she became CEO indicates to me that her predecessor, Dan Akerson, knew all about it and did nothing.

What we do know is that GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio lied under oath in 2013 in a trial concerning the ignition switch. It wasn't the first time and it won't be the last that some corporate lackey lies to protect the mother company.

What really bothers me is that a relative of one of those killed in an accident "allegedly" caused by the ignition switch said that after Mary Barra addressed some of the loved ones of accident victims that Ms. Barra did not sound sincere. Who knows how Barra really feels but I'm sure the corporate lawyers told her prior to meeting these people to show no emotion, voice no remorse because that would be an admission of guilt, and guilt drives up any settlement.

Any corporation involved in real or potential expensive lawsuits has and will continue to wear their poker faces.

GM may end up skirting the lawsuits because they declared bankruptcy. Even if any actually go to trial it will be years if ever before any plaintiff sees a dime. That's the nature of lawsuits unfortunately.

If Ms. Barra really wants to show that this is the "new" GM she has a great opportunity right now. Own up about what was done and make it right (as right as you can make deaths). But after watching some news clips of her "performance" before the congressional hearing I doubt very much that will happen. What I saw was more of the old GM; the same old corporate arrogance that you see from every CEO to ever testify before Congress.

Sometimes I wonder how these people sleep at night. Do they really believe the crap they spew?

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