In the continuing saga on the ignition switch recall, General Motors CEO Mary Barra admitted yesterday in front of a congressional committee that a company engineer may have lied under oath about fixing the problem that existed with the ignition switches.
“The data that’s been put in front of me indicates that, but I’m waiting for the full investigation. I want to be fair,” Barra said, referring to engineer Ray DeGiorgio’s deposition a year ago in a Georgia lawsuit where he discussed his involvement with the ignition switch. According to the Detroit Free Press, DeGiorgio was asked if he ever “signed a work order or a change authorization” to approve a redesigned switch.
“I don’t recall ever authorizing such a change, but it would definitely have been picked up in our engineering change systems of such a work order,” said DeGiorgio. However, a document recently released by several members of the House showed DeGiorgio signed off on the new ignition switch eight years ago.
The part number of the ignition switch wasn’t changed when it was redesigned, which has been problematic for General Motors in recent weeks. Even though some have claimed that this is not an unusual procedure, Barra has said that failing to change the number of a redesigned part was “wrong” and “totally unacceptable.”
In response, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said, “It is hard for me to imagine you would want him anywhere near engineering anything at General Motors under these circumstances. I know you want to be methodical. I know you want to get this right. But I think it sends exactly the wrong message that somebody who perjures repeatedly under oath [is still employed].”
Stay with GM Authority with continuing developments on the ignition switch recall.