In the continuing story of defective ignition switches, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman has directed General Motors to submit the 2009 performance evaluations of former Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner, especially if they relate to ignition-switch issues.
Bloomberg is reporting that, according to GM’s hired investigator Anton Valukas, Wagoner may have watched a presentation that indicated the Chevrolet Cobalt may have had stalling issues; three weeks later, Wagoner resigned. It is possible that this is a smoking gun − the first signal a GM CEO had any knowledge of issues with the Cobalt’s ignition switch.
In addition, personnel files for 32 former and current GM employees are being demanded by those who are part of the $10 billion class-action car-price lawsuit in Furman’s court, and by the family of an accident victim suing in Georgia state court. Both are looking for evidence that the automaker knew about the flaw yet hid it.
An additional 26 employees will have their performance reviews turned over. This includes Ray DeGiorgio, the engineer responsible for the defective switch, and Mike Robinson, vice president of global regulatory affairs, who was fired when Valukas published his report this past June.
“GM will comply with the court’s decision and provide the appropriate documents,” the automaker said in a statement.