Raymond DeGiorgio was employed by General Motors as an engineer for 23 years before he was terminated in June of 2014, months after GM had begun to recall 2.6 million vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch. This would eventually lead to an ugly series of lawsuits opened up against the General, resulting in two billion dollars spent on penalties and settlements.
The case at hand involves Robert Scheuer, the owner of a 2003 Saturn Ion with air bags that failed to deploy when he was involved in an accident during May of 2014. Scheuer’s lawyers are trying to get a Manhattan jury to decide that a faulty ignition switch is to blame, stating it rotated to ‘off,’ which prevented the air bags from being deployed upon collision.
A Reuters report states that DeGiorgio admitted fault in a pre-taped video deposition which was played at the first federal trial regarding the switch.
“I realize I made mistakes in the development of that part,” he said. Upon the realization of his own mistakes, DeGiorgio said that he did not feel like he was the target of any scapegoating.
DeGiorgio confessed that he had noticed the switch did not meet manufacturer’s specifications back in 2002, and that he had signed off on a redesigned switch back in 2006 without changing the part number. This detail would stand out to those investigating crashes linked to the faulty switch, as well as the engineer who uncovered the oversight, Mark Hood, who also gave his testimony.
And so continues the rippling effect from one of GM’s lesser moments.