General Motors announced on Thursday that it had placed two engineers on leave following an internal investigation into the ignition switch defect that led to the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles.
The two engineers have been identified by government sources as Ray DeGiogio and Gary Altman. DeGiorgio designed the original switch used in the 2003 Saturn Ion. Altman was the program engineering manager on the recalled models. According to Bloomberg:
DeGiorgio and Altman emerged at the center of U.S. Congressional hearings last week in which Barra said it appeared that DeGiorgio had lied under oath during a 2013 deposition in a case brought by the family of a crash victim.
In the same 2013 lawsuit, Altman testified that GM made a business decision in 2005 to not fix the defective switch.
The company also announced that they would incur a $1.3 billion charge in this year’s first fiscal quarter in order to finance replacing ignition switches as well as ignition lock cylinders, which prevent the key from being removed while the engine is running. The company initially expected a charge of $750 million.