General Motors says it has placed a new-found focus on fixing potential problems with parts and its vehicles in the years following its ignition switch scandal.
Speaking to The Detroit Free Press, Maryann Combs, GM’s vice president for global vehicle safety, said the automaker now places an emphasis on responsibility and encourages all employees to speak up if they notice issues along the production line or thereafter.
“Openness and accountability are two things that are very different at GM now,” Combs told the Free Press. “Everyone is encouraged to speak up on safety issues. They’ll be followed up on and we’ll take action.”
Combs explained that GM now teaches new employees about the ignition switch scandal so the company can learn from its past mistakes and ensure the same mistakes aren’t repeated.
“Every day we make our safety processes better, but we don’t want people to ever forget (the ignition switch scandal), and if you’re new, you learn about it,” Combs added.
After resolving the 2014 case against it with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission toward the end of 2017 and committed to implementing company-wide changes in a press released issued shortly after the case was closed.
“In the months immediately following the ignition switch recall, GM reorganized its vehicle engineering teams for greater transparency, urgency and accountability,” the statement said. “This included creating a new global vehicle safety organization that is focused on executing zero-defect safety systems for vehicles and customers.”
In addition to implementing the new safety organization, which includes a data analysis team and a re-engineered field investigation process, the statement said the company would create a ‘Speak Up For Safety’ program that will provide “all employees and suppliers an opportunity to report or suggest any potential safety related items.” This has resulted in numerous recalls so far, with problems noticed by employees resulting in safety recalls for the 2010 Chevrolet Impala and a separate one for 2009-2010 Impala.
“It speaks to the culture that (GM employees) are not afraid to put their name on there and say I’m proud to tell you about a safety problem,” Combs told the Free Press. “It’s a true cultural shift from the line worker to the dealers.”
Source: The Detroit Free Press