Former General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner may have viewed a presentation that included a description of stalling issues with the Chevrolet Cobalt about three weeks before he resigned, the company’s internal investigation found.
GM was for years a place where employees agreed to fix problems but never did, feared alerting superiors to car-safety concerns and avoided taking notes in meetings lest they be held liable for product shortcomings.
By David Welch April 29 (Bloomberg BusinessWeek) -- The 15 General Motors dealers who flew to Detroit last September for a dinner with GM management were not an easily rattled bunch. They had endured the worst auto sales slide in 25 years, as well as the bankruptcy of the iconic carmaker on which they had built their businesses. Only three months had passed since GM accepted a $50 billion federal bailout, announcing the retirement of four of its eight brands and the shutting down of 1,900 dealers—a third of its domestic retail network. These dealers were the survivors, some of the more prosperous people in their towns, and they wanted a little reassurance. CEO Fritz Henderson gathered the group in a private conference room at the Westin Detroit Metro Airport and tried to demonstrate that he had a plan, according to an executive in the room who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to describe the dinner. Henderson announced that GM was going on the
General Motors Co. blamed bureaucratic delays and a culture of incompetence for the botched handling of auto-safety complaints, and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra ousted 15 employees for their roles in mishandling the recall of millions of fatally flawed vehicles.
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.