The hundreds of pages of documents released by lawmakers last week shed new light on General Motors Co.’s more than decade-long failure to respond to auto-safety complaints, underscoring the struggle ahead for Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra as she seeks to refocus on the company’s new fleet of cars.
For about two years, General Motors Co. engineer Brian Stouffer tried to figure out why faulty ignition switches now linked to at least 13 deaths were causing cars to stall. His quest was thwarted by uncooperative colleagues, inaccurate data and a rotating cast of managers.
Internal General Motors Co. documents released yesterday by Congress show that company executives, including Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, were slow to respond to complaints about vehicle safety that built up for more than a decade.
The cars at the center of General Motors Co.’s February recall were still on the drawing board when a top engineer gathered more than a dozen managers and delivered a fateful message: Build them for less.
Ford Motor Co. directors gathering this week in Dearborn, Michigan, are likely to discuss future plans by Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, who is being considered for the top job at Microsoft Corp., according to a person familiar with the board’s thinking.
It’s not just Toyota Motor Corp.’s recalls last year or Japan’s earthquake driving General Motors Co. back to being the world’s largest carmaker. Nor is it completely to GM’s credit. What’s really happening is a historic shift in the car business.
General Motors Co., the automaker that has lost $14.5 billion in Europe since 1999, said Volkswagen AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn is stoking speculation that GM’s German-based Opel unit is for sale.