LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The CEO of General Motors this morning took action after an internal investigation into the recall of 2.6 million older small cars because of faulty ignition switches is released.
A sincere apology from General Motors CEO Mary Barra to the victims and families of those killed or injured by faulty ignition switches came at a press conference Thursday morning in the wake of multiple vehicle recalls and an internal investigation.
“I want to first take an opportunity to again express my deepest sympathies to the families that lost loved ones and to those who were injured,” Barra said at the conference.
And then it was down to business, accepting responsibility for the company’s mistakes and announcing that 15 longtime employees, many of them senior legal and engineering executives had been fired.
“Some were removed because of what we consider misconduct or incompetence,” Barra said. “Others were relieved because they simply didn’t do enough.”
Union leaders at the Lordstown plant tell me they are glad someone is finally being held accountable. At one time they built the Cobalt, which has been linked to those deaths.
“Our people in the plant, we don’t design, we don’t engineer the car, we just assemble it and they do a good job at building quality vehicles, so I think they are happy that somebody has been held accountable for that,” said United Auto Workers Local 1112 Vice President Tim O’Hara.
All the recalls and the negative publicity isn’t hurting sales. The Chevy Cruze had its second best month and workers this Saturday are going to be putting in some extra hours.
Yet some drivers have mixed reactions when it comes to trusting GM.
“I mean every car has its fault, how many Priuses did they take back?” said Michael Benchwick of Salem.
“I think they have known about this for some time,” Ashley O’Neill of Youngstown said. “They should have stepped up when they first knew about it instead of waiting for so many accidents to happen.”
GM plans to establish a compensation program for families of victims and those who suffered serious injuries in accidents related to the switches.
See the document showing GM’s full internal investigation here.