However many times General Motors Co.
CEO Mary Barra says the automaker’s customers “are our compass” in the expanding ignition-switch recall mess, the mounting evidence suggests the buying public was anything but a priority over a decade of denial, dysfunction and at least a dozen deaths.
Reversing that perception will not be easy. Documents under scrutiny by congressional investigators and media organizations confirm damning details likely to prove problematic for GM — to put it mildly. They’re fodder for trial lawyers trolling for high-value cases, as well as members of Congress expected to grill Barra next week over two days of high-profile testimony. Example:
GM engineers learned in May 2009 that “black boxes” in Chevrolet Cobalts confirmed the compact sedans carried a defect that could result in fatal crashes. But it took nearly five more years — time marked by a historic bankruptcy, an initial public offering, a new slate of directors and four more CEOs — before the company issued a recall to address problems it first discovered 13 years earlier.Read Article