General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced today that 15 employees have been fired over a bungled recall process, which lead to numerous car crash and more than a dozen fatalities. The announcement was part of the release of GM's internal report on faulty ignitions switches in some of their cars, and the failure to recall the vehicles in a timely manner.
15 GM employees dismissed over recall handling, CEO Mary Barra says; 5 have been disciplined. Says more recalls likely in near future— Ram Ramgopal (@RamCNN) June 5, 2014
Reporters say that Barra, who was tasked with looking into the negligence that allowed faulty cars to stay on the market for several years, resulting in at least 13 deaths, didn't shirk responsibility in her speech discussing the findings of the internal investigation.
"I never want to put this behind us." -- v. interesting line by Mary Barra, speaking now on @GM switch flaw.— Peter Lattman (@peterlattman) June 5, 2014
She said that the incident "represents a fundamental failure... in this case with these vehicles we didn't do our job. We failed these customers." She added that GM's failure to correctly recall 2.6 million cars, which were equipped with faulty ignition switches, was due to "a pattern of irresponsibility and neglect."
According to the report's findings, seniors officials at the company weren't aware of the negligence and did not try to cover anything up, but added that "personnel's inability to address ignition switch problem... represents a history of failures." It could take some time for the full report to be posted publicly:
GM internal recall report from Anton Valukas more than 300 pgs long. Regulators may have to determine if redaction needed before posting— Todd Spangler (@tsspangler) June 5, 2014
The company is still hammering out details of a compensation fund for "those who lost loved ones or.. suffered serious injuries," due to shoddy GM vehicles. CBS News has the story of one woman who was charged with manslaughter in 2004 after the Saturn Ion she was driving went off the road, killing her husband in the passenger seat. Only later would she learn the faulty switch was the cause of the accident.
Barra, who has been praised for her frank demeanor, has only been at the helm of the company for a few months, although the period of negligence spanned over a decade.