General Motors (GM) released details of its internal ignition switch recall probe to the public Thursday. The report, conducted by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, cleared GM CEO Mary Barra and other top management of wrongdoing. The delay of the deadly Cobalt switch recall was blamed instead on the automaker's bureaucratic culture. Barra told GM employees that the findings were "extremely thorough, brutally tough and deeply troubling," and said she plans to act on all of the report's recommendations.
"No one took responsibility, [and] there was no demonstrated sense of urgency right to the very end," Barra said. "No one raised the issues to the highest level of the company. From start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failure, which led to tragic results for many."
The company has also fired 15 employees who acted "inappropriately."
GM has directly linked at least 13 deaths to the faulty ignition switch. Reuters reported this week at least 74 drivers may have died in accidents caused by a similar defect in GM cars. The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task argues in the video above that GM's recall saga "is not over yet," as the company still faces numerous government investigations (by Congress, the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several states).
Consumers, for their part, have decided to stick with GM: The automaker reported that it sold 284,694 vehicles in the U.S. during May, a 13% increase from a year ago and well above analysts' estimates.
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