General Motors has taken a deferred prosecution deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Depart of Justice, in which it will pay a fine of $900 million, and continue to have its safety programs monitored.
GM CEO, Mary Barra, took to the stage first to address GM employees, and reveal her thoughts on the agreement, followed by GM Executive Vice President of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss.
Reuss’ remarks on the agreement are stated below:
“Thanks, Mary, and good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining us.
I’d first just like to echo the things that Mary said.
This is indeed a tough settlement, another step in a disappointing journey for all of us.
But as disappointing as it is for us, we must remember that it was devastating for people who bought our cars.
Again, as Mary said last year, we will never forget what happened with the ignition switch tragedy, nor would we ever want to.
You can put it in the mirror and go forward, but always see it back there.
And remember: it’s closer than it appears.
The settlement of this investigation is not the last step.
It’s another step forward for us as we grow into the great company and zero-defect product organization I know we can and will become.
As we do go forward, we cannot and will not define ourselves by our past mistakes, any more than we could or would define ourselves by our past success.
It just doesn’t work that way.
When you have success, you learn why it happened, and you build upon it.
When you make mistakes, you accept them, you correct the situation, and you take the necessary steps to make sure you never make the same mistakes again.
Last year, we determined what those steps were, and we began to act on them immediately.
And I’m proud of our organization, and the entire company, for the progress we’ve made… for the collective realization of how much more work there is to be done.
And for the enthusiastic commitment by all of us to do that work.
What have we done?
We reorganized Engineering for greater transparency, intensity and accountability.
We established Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems – and they are focused on component development, and advanced vehicle development.
Separately, we established an industry-first, Global Product Integrity organization – and they are focused on systems engineering.
Systems Engineering defines our failure mode criteria for all of our critical safety and performance components.
Also, part of our product integrity organization is our newly formed global vehicle safety organization.
This organization is focused on executing zero-defect safety systems for our vehicles and customers.
We have added more than 30 product-safety investigators to proactively search all emerging issues.
As part of this organization, we have established an industry- leading emerging issues and data analysis team.
This team is using industry-first analytics to spot any data points which could happen, before they happen.
We have also completely re-engineered the whole safety and field investigation process.
In addition, our “Speak up for Safety” program has been extremely successful.
It has provided all employees and suppliers an opportunity to report or suggest any potential safety related items – without fear.
Finally, we are working together with NHTSA to forge a strong relationship, which is customer focused.
In this settlement, we are making the additional commitment to the federal government, and to the appointed-Monitor, that we will be leaders in vehicle safety, and we’ll be candid and transparent about it.
When we do the right thing, it reinforces that our customers – and their safety – is at the center of everything we do.
We should all remember what happened today, and why.
I’m proud of how we all have responded, but I’m even more proud of how we have repositioned General Motors to reclaim our leadership position in safety.
Our teams are identifying and fixing issues before they become issues.
Our field actions are smaller in volume, because of our speed and focus on identification.
I want to be part of a company known for safety, and a zero-defect mentality.
I know you do, too.
The work our teams are doing continues to set new standards for protecting our customers and preventing crashes.
Technology is advancing quickly, from autonomous vehicles to alternative propulsion and beyond, and we’re working it from all angles, and we’re dedicating a significant amount of investment and people to deliver what the future of transportation demands.
Automation is, after all, the ultimate safety objective.
We’re going to deliver vehicles and features to astound and amaze people, with safety as our center focus.
We cannot do this without each person’s passion and focus.
I appreciate your dedicated support and determined effort.
And for that I say ‘Thank You.'”