GM Ignition Switch Scandal
General Motors recalled about 800,000 cars due to faulty ignition switches on February 6, 2014. The problem with the faulty part was that it could shut off the engine while driving, thus preventing the airbags from deploying and inflating. General Motors to recall more of its small cars, which resulted in almost 30 million cars worldwide recalled and them having to compensate for 124 deaths. The faulty part had been well known to GM for upwards of ten years prior to them declaring the recall. (Smith, 2014)
This major issue began in 2001 during pre-production testing of GM’s Saturn Ion. GM engineers experience problems with ignition switches on the Ion. The exact ...view middle of the document...
GM documents stated that, among other problems with it, the solution was too expensive to put into place. This is a clear ethical breach, knowingly deciding not to fix a major problem with the product in order to maximize profit and save money. (Valdes-Dapena, 2014)
During a meeting with several auto safety officials, employees are made aware of the fatal 2005 Cobalt crash in which airbags did not deploy. General Motors is made aware of ten deadly Cobalt accidents where the airbags failed to deploy by the end of the year. An engineer is asked to look at the types of crashed in the Cobalt in which the airbags failed, in order to see if there is anything in common between all of the accident. It was found that the ignition was not in run at the time of the accident in four out of nine cases.
On February 7, 2014 the initial recall began with 800,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 cars. Shortly after on February 24 GM adds 600,000 Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion, and Saturn Sky vehicles to the recall (Lienert, 2014). On March 12, the Justice Department launched an official investigation into why the recall was so delayed. GM later expanded their ignition switch recall to include almost 825,000 cars sold in the United States between the years 2008 to 2011. Mary Barra, recently established CEO of General Motors, stated that the ignition switch recall now covers about 2.6 million cars that were sold worldwide. By the end of June 2014, over 12 million more care were recalled related to the ignition switch and other various problems. Further research into the delayed ignition switch recall shows "a pattern of incompetence and neglect" throughout the company. Barra says she dismissed 15 employees and disciplined 5 more for their clear improper handling of the matter.
Overall there have been a total of 124 deaths that are directly linked to the ignition switches. There is also a confirmed total of 266 injury claims, 18 of them for major catastrophic injuries and 248 for minor injuries that required hospitalization. (Naughton, 2015)
In order to appease the affected parties, General Motors offered at least $1...