GM recalls more than 1.3 million vehicles for faulty electric power steering – WDIV Detroit

Posted: Tuesday, April 01, 2014

TOMORROW ON CAPITOL HILL. IS IT ENOUGH TO SATISFY THE CRITICS? Ruth: GOOD AFTERNOON! FIRST WE BEGIN WITH LOCAL 4 NEWS AT 5:00. GENERAL MOTORS HAS JUST ANNOUNCED THEY’RE RECALLING AN ADDITIONAL 1.3 MILLION VEHICLES. Steve: THIS IS FOR A POWER STEERING PROBLEM NOT RELATED TO THE IGNITION INVESTIGATION. GUY GORDON JOINS US NOW LIVE FROM THE NEWSROOM. GUY, WHAT CARS ARE INVOLVED IN THIS RECALL? Guy: WE TOLD YOU ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION LAST WEEK. NOW THE OTHER SHOE HAS DROPPED. THIS IS AN EXPANSION OF A RECALL INVOLVING POWER STEERING ASSIST FAILURE IN SMALL AND MIDSIZE SEDANS, INCLUDING THE 2004-2009 MA MALIBU, HHRs, AND SOME CHEVY COBALTS. AND THE SATURN AURA, SATURN ION AND THE 2005 PONTIAC G-6 MODELS, AS WELL WITH SELECTED DARS FROM 2006, 2008 AND 2009. THEY WILL REVERT TO A MANUAL STEERING MODE AND WOULD BE MORE DIFFICULT TO STEER AND COULD CAUSE AN ACCIDENT, BUT DRIVERS CAN STILL MAINTAIN CONTROL, UNLIKE THE IGNITION FAILURE. GMAC KNOWLEDGES THIS WILL ADD $450 MILLION TO THE $300 MILLION IN CHARGES IT ALREADY INTENDS TO TAKE IN THIS QUARTER BECAUSE OF THE RECALL, THAT’S THREE QUARTERS OF A BILLION THAT WON’T GO TOWARD PROFIT SHARING CHECKS, SO VERY, VERY COSTLY. NOW, TO TOMORROW’S CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION AND GM CEO MARY BARRA’S TESTIMONY, UNTIL GM HAS A SURPRISE PLANNED, THERE ARE NO MAJOR REVELATIONS OR EXPLANATIONS EXPECTED. AND WE KNOW THAT FROM THIS OPENING STATEMENT THAT WAS RELEASED BY CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS. SHE REITERATES WHAT SHE HAS TOLD CONSUMERS AND THE MEDIA THAT THE COMPANY IS VIGOROUSLY PURSUING ANSWERS TO WHY THE SMALL CARS CONTINUE TO SUFFER ADMISSION SHUTOFFS NEARLY A DECADE AFTER THE PROBLEM WAS IDENTIFIED. SITTING HERE TODAY, I CANNOT TELL YOU WHY IT TOOK YEARS FOR A SAFETY RECALL TO BE ANNOUNCED IN THAT PROGRAM BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT WE WILL FIND OUT, SO SAYS MARY BARRA. SHE ALSO SAYS THE COMPANY WILL HOLD ITSELF FULLY ACCOUNTABLE. Guy: YET, NOWHERE IN THIS INITIAL STATEMENT DOES SHE SUGGEST THE COMPANY WILL COMPENSATE VICTIMS OR AS SOME HAVE DEMANDED, CREATE A VICTIMS FUND. TODAY’S GM IS SHIELDED FROM RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCIDENTS THAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE BANKRUPTCY. BUT SOME EXPERTS SAY WHAT THE NEW GM IS LEGALLY REQUIRED TO DO AND WHAT IT SHOULD DO ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. I THINK IF GM WANTS TO PUT THE RIGHT FOOT FORWARD, THEY NEED TO ACCEPT TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY WHETHER IT WAS OLD GM, NEW GM, IT’S STILL GM ON THE BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN DETROIT. Guy: IGNITION SWITCH SUPPLIER DELPHI SAID GM APPROVED THE SWITCH IN 2002, EVEN THOUGH SAMPLE TESTING WAS BELOW THE ORIGINAL SPECIFICATIONS SET BY GM. THAT RAISES NEW TROUBLING QUESTIONS, WHY DELPHI WOULD SUBMIT A DEFICIENT PART AND WHY GM WOULD PUT IT IN 2.2 MILLION VEHICLES. IN MARCH 2005, ENGINEERS CITED COST AS A REASON FOR REJECTING MODIFICATION OF THE TROUBLED PART. NONE OF THE SOLUTIONS REPRESENTS AN ACCEPTABLE BUSINESS CASE. NOW, THE BIG QUESTION IS, WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE BUSINESS CASE? THAT’S WHAT CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATORS WILL WANT TO KNOW FROM MARY BARRA TOMORROW. THEY ALSO WILL WANT TO KNOW HOW THE CONCLUSION WAS REACHED AND THOSE WILL BE SOME OF THE TOUGH QUESTIONS TOMORROW. STEVE, RUTH? Steve: GUY, IF THE COMPANY IS ADMITTING MISTAKE IS THIS A NO WIN SITUATION FOR MARY BARRA? Guy: THERE IS NO WINNING HERE TO SPEAK OF, ONLY MINIMIZING THE LOSS. CRISIS MANAGEMENT EXPERTS HAVE PUBLICLY PRAISED HER FOR GETTING OUT EARLY AND APOLOGIZING, APPOINTING A SAFETY CHIEF AND PROMISING ACTION, BUT SHE’S GOTTA DELIVER ON THE PLEDGE TO BE FORTHCOMING TO PROTECT THE COMPANY OR THE THREE QUARTERS OF BILLION IN RECALLS WE JUST SAW AND ALSO THE POTENTIAL LOST SALES IF CUSTOMERS LOSE FAITH. Steve: A LOT OF MONEY AT STAKE, ABSOLUTELY. DEVIN SCILLIAN IS IN WASHINGTON FOR THE GENERAL MOTORS

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*