This morning, June 5, 2014, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced that the company has terminated the employment of no less than fifteen employees, while disciplining five others in the wake of the three-month internal investigation led of U.S. attorney Anton Valukas. Their names are not immediately available, however, both employees that were put on paid leave (Gary Altman and Ray DeGiorgio) are two of them. Other details note that the individuals range from engineering to legal staff, and at least one vice president. The report revealed that there wasn’t a corporate conspiracy to cover up the ignition switch issue, outside of an isolated group. There was also no signs of sacrificing safety in the name of a few dollars. Sadly, it was serial incompetence.
In short, it seems that the company clipped itself of a tumor riddled with negligence, failure to act, and incompetence that ended up costing human life. But is it case closed? Not exactly, as General Motors still faces several federal probes, including one by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
There were over 41 million documents observed, spread across over 350 interviews and 250 employees. There’s also more recalls to come, according to Barra. What’s more, there were eight recommendations from the Valukas Report that GM should implement, which Barra claims to be already set in motion. There will be a compensation fund set up for victims’ families and those who suffered from injuries.
Update 1: The victim compensation fund is still being formulated by Kenneth Feinberg, so the amount of money and victims that will be compensated are both up in the air. Notably, General Motors stands by the number of 13 fatalities from faulty ignition switches, despite mounting reports and claims that the number is higher. However, the families of the 13 victims counted by GM don’t seem to be the only ones that will be compensated, as President Dan Ammann continued to insist that the compensation fund will be paid out based on the number of people Feinberg and his team independently formulate. The compensation fund is also voluntary.