Two weeks after becoming the CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra got blind sided with the news that a major safety problem, a faulty ignition switch in certain vehicles that could turn and cause the vehicle to stop with no warning had come to light. This switch was flagged years ago as being problematic but nothing aside from service bulletin was ever done. This problem was linked at the time to several crashes and 13 fatalities.
When Barra testified to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about the ignition switch, she said that she only knew about the issue in late January. But many questioned for someone who worked at the company for 34 years, why was she kept in the dark? How did she not know about this at all?
"Mary has said it: The moment she became aware of the problem, as I would expect, she confronted it. She didn't know about it. I bet my life on it," said former GM CEO Dan Akerson in a interview with Forbes.
This is the first time that Akerson has made any comment regarding ignition switch recall. No mention was made if Akerson knew anything about the recall during his tenure.