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General Motors avoided product recall for nine years

22 Apr 2014

GM LogoRecent information has surfaced that in 2005 General Motors (GM) made the decision to not recall 2.6 million cars due to a switch fault that would have cost the company USD $0.90 per car. The failed part is linked to at least 13 deaths as the faulty switch could cut off the engine and disable airbags, power steering and power brakes.

GM has only now recalled the faulty cars, including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, a little less than a decade after the faulty switch was recognised.

After the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce released this staggering information, Reuters obtained a series of emails between GM engineers discussing whether or not to replace the faulty switch. The emails detail that to repair the fault would cost 90 cents per unit along with a one-off tooling cost of US$ 400,000. One email chain detailed that even though the switch manufacturer (Delphi Automotive) warned GM that the item did not meet performance specifications, GM engineers replied that they were prepared to continue using it regardless.

New General Motors’ CEO, Mary Barra, responded to the situation by saying that it is “very disturbing. That is not the way we do business in the New GM”. She goes further in stating that since GM’s bankruptcy in 2009, the direction has changed from a cost culture to one focused on customers.

View the original article here.