General Motors announced today that the executive embroiled in controversy following a investigation by Federal safety regulators has been reassigned to a new position. This is part of GM’s restructuring with the intention of improving vehicle safety standards within the organization.
Reuters reports that M. Carmen Benavides, director of field product investigations and evaluations and an executive who has worked closely with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has been appointed director of safety improvement initiatives in General Motors’ safety group, according to GM spokesman Greg Martin. Brian Latouf takes Benavides’ old position.
“Brian and Carmen will be undertaking important roles to support Jeff Boyer,” Martin said.
In the investigation of why General Motors continued to use faulty ignition switches and failed to issue a recall, Benavides’ name pops up on many documents, among them a July 2013 email from Frank Borris, head of NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation, who said General Motors was “slow to communicate” and “slow to act.”
Martin says the reassignment is unrelated to the ignition switch recall but is part of executive changes announced on April 22 that included splitting engineering into two groups, a move said to improve vehicle safety and quality.