GM creates new post to spearhead safety issues

In this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, the General Motors logo is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  General Motors is offering free loaner cars to owners of compacts that are being recalled for a deadly ignition switch defect, the company said Wednesday, March 12, 2014. The company also will offer a $500 cash allowance to owners who want to buy or lease a new GM vehicle. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
In this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, the General Motors logo is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. General Motors is offering free loaner cars to owners of compacts that are being recalled for a deadly ignition switch defect, the company said Wednesday, March 12, 2014. The company also will offer a $500 cash allowance to owners who want to buy or lease a new GM vehicle. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors is naming a 40-year engineer as its new safety chief, placing a single person in charge of recalls and other safety issues as it deals with a huge recall that is damaging the company’s reputation.

The move by CEO Mary Barra is a response to revelations that GM knew about a deadly ignition switch problem in compact cars at least 11 years ago, but failed to recall them until last month. The problem has been linked to at least a dozen deaths in the Chevrolet Cobalt and five other models.

Barra on Tuesday named 40-year company veteran Jeff Boyer to the new post. She says it gives GM a single safety leader with access to senior managers and the board.

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