General Motors today signed a consent order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to report defective ignition switches in a timely manner. Part of the agreement includes paying a $35 million fine.
“We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety. We will emerge from this situation a stronger company,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Barra claims she didn’t know about the issue until January 2014.
Since the controversy started, including Federal hearings and multiple lawsuits, General Motors has been working with NHTSA to revamp its reviewing processes and policies to avoid future missed opportunities for recalls.
“We are working hard to improve our ability to identify and respond to safety issues,” said vice president of Global Vehicle Safety, Jeff Boyer, who is assigned to integrate safety policies across the General Motors. “Among other efforts, GM has created a new group, the Global Product Integrity unit, to innovate our safety oversight; we are encouraging and empowering our employees to raise their hands to address safety concerns through our Speak Up for Safety initiative, and we have set new requirements for our engineers to attain Black Belt certification through Design for Six Sigma.”
With the agreement now signed, General Motors continues to complete the ignition switch recall, which involves the production of over two million switch mechanisms through October.
“GM’s ultimate goal is to create an exemplary process and produce the safest cars for our customers – they deserve no less,” said Barra.