GM Scandal Reminiscent of Watergate

GM Scandal Reminiscent of Watergate

June, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

June 6, 2014, Washington Post Front Page Headline:  “GM: Faulty ignitions were not covered up”

Recall Nixon’s “I am not a crook.”  See

June 6, 2014, NY Times, Front Page Headline: “G.M. Inquiry Cites Years of Neglect Over Fatal Defect”  “Company Fires 15 in Handling of Ignition Tied to 13 Deaths – Chief Cleared”
Reporting on the GM Internal Investigation Valukas Report: “It seems like the best report money can buy,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who had been highly critical of Ms. Barra at a hearing in April.  “It absolves upper management, denies deliberate wrongdoing and dismisses corporate culpability.”  See
Secrecy Another NY Times article addressed GM Secrecy.  

“To the legal department at General Motors, secrecy ruled.

Employees were discouraged from taking notes in meetings. Workers’ emails were examined once a year for sensitive information that might be used against the company. G.M. lawyers even kept their knowledge of fatal accidents related to a defective ignition switch from their own boss, the company’s general counsel, Michael P. Millikin.

An internal investigation released on Thursday into the company’s failure to recall millions of defective small cars found no evidence of a cover-up. But interviews with victims, their lawyers and current and former G.M. employees, as well as evidence in the report itself, paint a more complete picture: The automaker’s legal department took actions that obscured the deadly flaw, both inside and outside the company.

While Mr. Millikin survived the dismissals this week of 15 G.M. employees tied to the delayed recall, his department was hit hard.”  See

More Hearings and Investigations Ahead
Hopefully future investigations will be more independent and more penetrating than the Valukas report which focused on corporate culture, silos, and lower level employees.
“The report offered an extraordinary window into a company where employees avoided responsibility with a “G.M. salute” — arms crossed and pointing fingers at others — and the “G.M. nod,” which Ms. Barra described in the report as “the nod as an empty gesture.” The report also lays bare a bureaucracy that appeared to stun Mr. Valukas. “The Cobalt ignition switch passed through an astonishing number of committees,” he wrote. “But determining the identity of any actual decision-maker was impenetrable.”  See
Hopefully, the hearings and investigations ahead will go up the GM chain of responsibilities and include NHTSA and the GM related political people that also had responsibilities and powers to prevent tragedies and protect past and future crash victims.  See my March Report attached and at 
Who is responsible for the last decade of crash deaths at
Let’s keep a good end in mind: To build a safer America through a NHTSA free – not captive – of auto industry influence, a safer GM, and a safer auto industry.


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