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    Drew Dowdell

    Powertrain warranties on Chevrolet and GMC vehicles will be 40,000 miles shorter starting in model year 2016.

    In a memo released to dealers yesterday, General Motors announced that beginning with 2016 model year vehicles, the powertrain warranty will be shortened from 100,000 miles to 60,000 miles on Chevrolet and GMC models, while still remaining in effect for 5 years. Buick's existing 6 year / 70,000 mile powertrain warranty remains in effect. General Motors began offering 5 year / 100,000 mile powertrain warranties in 2007 at a time when public confidence in the company was low. There is no mention of Cadillac in the memo, so it looks like they will keep the 5 year / 100,000 powertrain warranty they currently offer.
    Also being scaled back is the amount of included maintenance. Current Chevy, Buick, and GMC vehicles come with 4 scheduled maintenance visits included in the first 2 years of ownership. That will be cut back to 2 scheduled maintenance visits beginning for model year 2016.
    GM says this move brings the warranties for these brands more in line with their direct competition.
    This is where the brands stack up for most of their respective models:
    Family Brands:
    Fiat: 4 years / 50,000 miles
    Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Honda, Nissan: 5 years / 60,000 miles
    Ram, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep: 5 years /100,000 miles
    Toyota: 6 years / 60,000 miles
    Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi: 10 years / 100,000 miles
    Premium Brands:
    Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar/LR, Volvo, Porsche: 4 years / 50,000
    Cadillac: 5 years / 100,000 miles
    Buick, Acura, Lexus, Lincoln: 6 years / 70,000 miles\
    We obtained a copy of the memo which you can read below. (click to enlarge)



    William Maley

    Some Good News On the GM Ignition Switch Recall

    There is some good news appearing from General Motors' ignition switch mess. The Detroit News reports that GM dealers have repaired 1.36 million ignition switches globally out of 2.36 million it believes are still in use, or about 57.8 percent of vehicles around the world. It should be noted that the 2.36 million amount is down from the 2.59 million GM recalled back in February and March.
    "The difference between the 2.59 million produced and recalled, and the populations being sought is made up for by scrapped vehicles or vehicles no longer traceable by registration," said GM spokesman Alan Adler in a email.
    In the U.S., GM dealers have repaired 1.14 million vehicles out of the 1.96 million vehicles involved in the recall. That still leaves around 823,000 cars still needing to be fixed. Adler admits get those vehicles into the service center will be difficult.
    Source: The Detroit News

    William Maley

    More Bad News For GM

    It seems with every new report concerning General Motors and the ignition switch recall, GM only looks worse off. Consider this piece from the Wall Street Journal today which reports that the automaker placed an order for 500,000 replacement ignition switches two months before announcing a recall.
    Emails shown to the Wall Street Journal revealed that on December 18, a GM contract worker contacted supplier Delphi Automotive for a 'urgent' order of 500,000 switches. This comes a day after GM senior executives were called into a meeting to discuss the situation over the Chevrolet Cobalt was discussed. However, no records were kept about what was said at the meeting.
    These emails come from Delphi which produced these and other documents as part of a discovery order connected to a case against GM in New York.
    GM spokesman Alan Adler tells the Wall Street Journal said the company followed the procedure set by NHTSA by submitting a correct defect chronology, and wasn’t required to disclose details of a parts order.
    "These emails are further confirmation that our system needed reform, and we have done so. We have reorganized our entire safety investigation and decision process and have more investigators, move issues more quickly and make decisions with better data," said GM in a statement.
    It should be said that automakers will call on suppliers to check on availability of parts and place orders. However with this news, it only adds to fire that is currently sitting under GM at the moment.
    Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Your next GM Car May Have An Android (Infotainment System)

    General Motors is turning to Android to power its next-generation infotainment system. According to Automotive News, Harman International CEO Dinesh Paliwal made the announcement during a conference call discussing quarterly earnings.
    “As you would expect, this next-generation infotainment solution will enable an app store, which allows this infotainment system to stay technologically relevant over the life cycle of the vehicle. Apps will be developed by General Motors, Harman and a bunch of other third parties, not just Google and Apple," said Paliwal.
    Harman won the $900 million contract back in 2012 and has been working closely with Google on the system. It should be stressed that this system isn't anything like the recently announced Android Auto system which allows the Android OS to be projected on the vehicle's infotainment system.
    No mention of when this system will debut, or what vehicle it will appear in first.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Allege That The Ignition Switch Recall Caused Vehicle Values To Drop

    General Motors is now facing two new lawsuits with a total of $10 billion in compensation on the line. The two suits allege that GM's ignition switch recall has cause the values of their vehicles to drop.
    The first and largest suit is seeking to represent owners who bought or leased a recalled car from July 2009 to July 2014 and either still owns it, traded it in after the recall was announced back in February, or got into an accident. Steve Berman, one of the attorneys involved, tells Bloomberg that more than 20 million customers could join in the suit.
    “New GM repeatedly proclaimed that it was a company committed to innovation, safety and maintaining a strong brand. The value of all GM-branded vehicles has diminished as a result of the widespread publication of those defects and New GM’s corporate culture of ignoring and concealing safety defects,” stated the filing.
    The second suit is for those owners of vehicles bought or leased before GM's bankruptcy proceedings in 2009. This suit could run into some problems as a bankruptcy judge still needs to rule on whether or not claims for accidents and economic losses made before the bankruptcy would be allowed.
    GM in a statement said that it would “vigorously defend against plaintiffs’ claims that GM vehicles have reduced resale value.”
    Source: Bloomberg
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    New Recalls From GM

    General Motors has issued three new recall campaigns that cover 641,000 vehicles.
    290,107 Cadillac SRXs (2010 to 2015 model years) and Saab 9-4X (2011-2012 model years) need to have their rear toe link adjuster lock nuts inspected. The nuts may have not been properly torqued to spec which could cause the toe adjuster link to separate and the vehicle to sway around. GM says its aware of three accidents and two injuries because of this problem. Dealers will look at the nuts and replace the link assembly.
    117,651 model year 2013-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban; 2013-2014 Cadillac CTS; 2013-2014 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL; 2013-2014 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV; 2014 Chevrolet Traverse; 2014 GMC Acadia; 2014 Buick Enclave; 2014 Chevrolet Express; 2014 GMC Savana; 2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2014 GMC Sierra HD for a manufacturing defect in the chassis control module. The module could have a short which could cause the engine to stall or not start. GM says about one percent of these vehicles are believed to have this problem.
    89,294 Chevrolet Sparks (2013 to 2015 model years) could have their secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position due to corrosion. If this was to happen along with the main hatch not being secure, the hood could fly open. Dealers will replace the hood striker.

    Source: General Motors, NHTSA
    Press Release is on Page 2
    General Motors today announced two recalls covering 379,401 cars and trucks in the United States. The total number of vehicles recalled in North America -- U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports -- is 524,384.
    290,107 model year 2010-2015 Cadillac SRX and 2011-2012 Saab 9-4X SUVs for torque inspection of rear toe link adjuster lock nuts. Improper torqueing could possibly result in a loose joint and worn threads that could cause the toe adjuster link to separate. Dealers will inspect for the condition and, if necessary, will remove them and install a new link assembly. Unsold vehicles are being checked for proper torqueing before being sold. A loose toe adjuster link can cause the vehicle to sway or wander at highway speed, activate the vehicle's electronic stability control system, and cause excessive wear to the threads in the link. Additionally, the rear suspension may make loud metallic noises, particularly when the vehicle is travelling over bumps or potholes. If separation occurs while the vehicle is being driven, it would create sudden vehicle instability, increasing the risk of a crash. GM is aware of three crashes and two injuries as a result of this condition. GM reported this recall to the NHTSA on September 17.
    89,294 model year 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark models in the U.S., because corrosion can cause the secondary hood latch striker to stick in the open position. If the primary latch is not engaged, the hood could open unexpectedly. These vehicles, imported from South Korea, were manufactured with a secondary hood latch that may prematurely corrode at the latch pivot, causing the striker to get stuck out of position and preventing the striker from properly engaging the hood latch. About 13,000 of these unsold vehicles are being held at U.S. dealerships and will not be delivered until repairs are made. Customers will be notified by letter about the recall and dealers will replace the hood striker when parts are available . GM is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities as a result of this condition. This recall was posted today on the NHTSA website.
    General Motors is recalling 97,540 cars and trucks from the 2013-2014 model year in the U.S. because the chassis control module may have a manufacturing defect. The total North American population, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports, is 117,651.
    Vehicles involved are certain model year 2013-2014 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban; 2013-2014 Cadillac CTS; 2013-2014 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL; 2013-2014 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV; 2014 Chevrolet Traverse; 2014 GMC Acadia; 2014 Buick Enclave; 2014 Chevrolet Express; 2014 GMC Savana; 2014 Chevrolet Silverado HD and 2014 GMC Sierra HD.
    About 4,500 of these unsold vehicles are being held at U.S. dealerships and will not be delivered until repairs are made.
    GM knows of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition. About 1 percent of all vehicles recalled are believed to have the condition.

    William Maley

    GM Begin Shipping The Colorado and Canyon To Dealers

    Starting today, General Motors is beginning to ship their new midsize trucks to dealers across the U.S. GM says demand for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon is very high, with 30,000 orders alone for the Colorado. GM has claimed that over 100,000 configurations of the two models have been created since the the "build your own" features went live on September 3rd.
    To help cope with this initial demand, GM has added 750 employees at their Wentzville, Mo. assembly plant to accommodate a third shift of production.
    Source: General Motors
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Colorado and Canyon Start Shipping to Dealers
    New midsize trucks making their way to dealerships nationwide

    WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The two newest entries in the midsize truck segment are one step closer to being on the road, with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon shipping to dealers today.
    Consumers have created more than 100,000 configurations of the trucks since the Colorado Build Your Own and Canyon Build Your Own websites went live on Sept. 3.
    “The Colorado was designed to meet the demands of the modern midsized truck buyer, and now we’re fulfilling the demand they’ve placed on us,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “Chevrolet and everyone at the Wentzville plant has worked hard to get the truck out on time to fulfill as soon as possible the orders our dealers have placed.”
    Said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of GMC: “We have heard our customers loud and clear – they want a modern midsize truck that’s refined and capable. We’re excited to introduce them to the Canyon. We’re confident the Canyon will redefine the segment, with the latest technologies and premium materials throughout.”
    Both the Colorado and Canyon benefit from technologies like cabs and frames made with more than 72 percent high-strength steel, available active aero shutters to make the truck as aerodynamic as needed, and available OnStar with 4G LTE, creating a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven mobile devices to connect to the Internet.
    The duo’s available 3.6L V-6 engines return 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway in 2wd form, making them the most fuel efficient V-6s in their class, offering three to five mpg better than their competitors.
    For the 2016 model year, Colorado and Canyon will add a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel to the engine lineup. Technical details and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch.
    With the introduction of Colorado and Canyon, Chevrolet and GMC will offer customers more pickup choices than any other brand, including midsize, full-size light duty and heavy-duty pickups.WENTZVILLE, Mo. – The two newest entries in the midsize truck segment are one step closer to being on the road, with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon shipping to dealers today.
    Consumers have created more than 100,000 configurations of the trucks since the Colorado Build Your Own and Canyon Build Your Own websites went live on Sept. 3.
    “The Colorado was designed to meet the demands of the modern midsized truck buyer, and now we’re fulfilling the demand they’ve placed on us,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “Chevrolet and everyone at the Wentzville plant has worked hard to get the truck out on time to fulfill as soon as possible the orders our dealers have placed.”
    Said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of GMC: “We have heard our customers loud and clear – they want a modern midsize truck that’s refined and capable. We’re excited to introduce them to the Canyon. We’re confident the Canyon will redefine the segment, with the latest technologies and premium materials throughout.”
    Both the Colorado and Canyon benefit from technologies like cabs and frames made with more than 72 percent high-strength steel, available active aero shutters to make the truck as aerodynamic as needed, and available OnStar with 4G LTE, creating a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven mobile devices to connect to the Internet.
    The duo’s available 3.6L V-6 engines return 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway in 2wd form, making them the most fuel efficient V-6s in their class, offering three to five mpg better than their competitors.
    For the 2016 model year, Colorado and Canyon will add a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel to the engine lineup. Technical details and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch.
    With the introduction of Colorado and Canyon, Chevrolet and GMC will offer customers more pickup choices than any other brand, including midsize, full-size light duty and heavy-duty pickups.

    William Maley

    GM's Compensation Fund Begins Sending Out Settlements

    When we last checked in on General Motors' Ignition Switch Compensation Fund, almost 300 claims were filed by families due because they were effected by the ignition switch problem. Now according to the Detroit Free Press, some of the claimants are starting to see settlements.
    The Detroit Free Press reports that Compensation Fund Administrator, Kenneth Feinberg has approved nineteen claims made by families who said the ignition switch caused the death of a loved one. This up from the thirteen deaths that General Motors and federal safety regulators have identified.
    Feinberg has also approved four claims of those who were seriously injured and eight claims of those who were slightly injured by the ignition switch problem.
    Source: Detroit Free Press
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    How many people have filed a claim for GM's compensation fund?

    It has been almost two months since General Motors announced a compensation fund for families who either lost a loved one or who were injured because of a problem due to the ignition switch. According to the Detroit Free Press, almost 300 people have filed a claim.
    100 people who have filed a claim said their loved ones were killed because of defect, while 184 people said their injuries come as a result of the problem. These numbers come from Amy Weiss, a spokeswoman for fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg.
    The Detroit Free Press says each person who has filed a claim has to provide evidence that it was the defective switch that was the cause of the injury/fatality. If the person is able to prove this, Feinberg will will use actuarial tables and medical cost data to determine individual payouts.
    Source: Detroit Free Press
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    GM Considers More Diesels For Its Lineup

    General Motors took a surprising step a few years ago when they introduced a Cruze with a diesel engine for the U.S. The model gets 46 MPG on the highway and is meeting the sales expectations the company has set. Well according to Steve Kiefer, GM’s vice president of global powertrain, there could be more diesel options coming to the U.S.
    “The Chevrolet Cruze diesel will be the first of many diesel-powered passenger cars General Motors will offer in the United States,” said Kiefer to an audience at the 2014 Management Briefing Seminars. “We will continue to introduce more diesels as appropriate and as the market accepts them.”
    Kiefer said that diesels in cars and light trucks could grow up to ten percent by 2020. He also dropped a possible hint of what GM has in mind for their next diesel application. Automotive News reports that Kiefer said that torque, not horsepower will be the more important measure of performance in the coming years. Torque is key thing for pickup trucks as its a key part in performance figures for acceleration and hauling/towing heavy loads. We know that a four-cylinder turbodiesel is coming for the upcoming Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and AN speculates it could be the light-duty trucks next.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    GM Puts Their Next-Generation Trucks On Rush

    General Motors has put a rush on the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra to counter Ford's F-150. According to Reuters, GM has pushed up the launch date of their next-generation pickups, codenamed T1XX, by nine months to the fall of 2018. The new trucks will undergo a diet much like the new F-150. Full-size SUVs will follow a year after.
    While this will trail the next F-150 by four years, supplier sources says GM has a lot in store for its next-generation trucks, including a ten-speed automatic being jointly developed with Ford, direct-injection, turbocharging, and auto stop/start technologies.
    In the meantime, some of GM's current trucks and SUVs will get an eight-speed automatic.
    Source: Reuters
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    More Recalls From The General

    General Motors has announced another set of recalls that will cover 717,949 vehicles. Unlike the previous set of recalls, this set doesn't include any dealing with the ignition switch. Here are the recalls:
    414,333 vehicles equipped with the power height-adjustable driver or front passenger seats could have a bolt that holds height-adjuster actuator may become loose or fall out. If this happens, the seat can freely move up and down, and cause a safety hazard when involved in a accident.
    2010-2012 Cadillac SRX
    2010-2012 Chevrolet Equinox
    2010-2012 GMC Terrain
    2011-2012 Buick LaCrosse
    2011-2012 Buick Regal
    2011-2012 Chevrolet Camaro

    124,008 vehicles will need to have their lower seat track inspected due to an incomplete weld on the seat-hook bracket assembly. If the weld is deemed insufficient, the track will be replaced.
    2013-2014 Buick Encore
    2013-2014 Cadillac ATS
    2014 Cadillac CTS
    2014 Cadillac ELR
    2014 Chevrolet Caprice
    2014 Chevrolet SS
    2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty
    2014-2015 GMC Sierra 1500
    2014-2015 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty

    120,426 vehicles with two bulbs in each front turn signal have a unique problem. If both bulbs in one turn signal burn out, the turn signal arrow will rapidly flash. However if one bulb burns out, the turn signal will not rapidly flash. Dealers will reprogram the body control module to fix the condition.
    2011-2013 Buick Regal
    2013 Chevrolet Malibu

    57,242 vehicles equipped with belt-drive electric power steering could lose part or all the power steering due to due to a poor electrical ground connection. This is due to paint possibly seeping in and behind the grounding nut. Dealers will inspect the system, clean the paint off the nut, and update the power steering control module software.
    2014 Chevrolet Impala

    1,919 vehicles may have a lower control arm bolt that was not fastened to specification. This can cause a noise to come from the front suspension and the separation of the lower control arm from the steering knuckle, causing a loss of steering. Dealers will inspect the left and right hand lower control arm attaching bolts and make sure the bolts are tighten to the right spec.
    2014 Chevrolet Spark

    22 vehicles equipped with roof carriers may have been attached with the wrong retaining nuts, causing holes or tears in the roof rail air bags if they deploy.
    2015 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
    2015 GMC Yukon/Yukon Denali

    For those keeping track, GM has issued 60 recall campaigns since the start of this year, affecting close to 30 million vehicles.
    Source: General Motors
    Press Release is on Page 2
    GM Announces Six Recalls for Varying Safety Issues
    DETROIT – General Motors today announced six safety recalls covering 717,950 recent model vehicles in the U.S.
    "These recalls signify how we've enhanced our approach to safety," said Jeff Boyer, vice president, Global Vehicle Safety. "We are bringing greater rigor and discipline to our analysis and decision making. If we identify an issue – large or small – that might affect the safety of our customers, we will act decisively."
    The recalls cover:
    414,333 2011-2012 model year Chevrolet Camaro; 2010-2012 model year Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain; 2011-2012 Buick Regal and LaCrosse; and 2010-2012 Cadillac SRX models in the U.S. equipped with power height adjustable driver or front passenger seat structures. In these vehicles, the bolt that secures the height adjuster actuator may become loose or fall out. If the bolt falls out, the seat will move up and down freely because it is no longer attached at the height adjuster. The vehicles are safe to drive, but customers should not use the power height adjustable feature until dealers can replace the height adjuster bolt. GM is aware of one crash and three injuries but no fatalities related to this condition.
    124,008 model year 2014 Chevrolet Caprice, 2014 Chevrolet SS, 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado LD and HD, 2013-2014 Cadillac ATS, 2014 Cadillac CTS, 2014 Cadillac ELR; 2013-2014 Buick Encore; and 2014-2015 GMC Sierra LD and HD vehicles because certain vehicles may have an incomplete weld on the seat hook bracket assembly. A loss of power to a laser welding machine may have resulted in an incomplete weld, according to data collected from the machine between July 2013 and January 2014. Dealers will inspect the weld. If it is sufficient, no further action is necessary. If it is insufficient, dealers will replace the lower seat track at no charge. Less than 1 percent of welds are expected to require seat track replacement. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries as a result of this issue.
    120,426 2011-2013 model year Buick Regal and 2013 model year Chevrolet Malibus equipped with front turn signals that use two bulbs in each front turn signal. While the driver would get a rapidly flashing turn signal arrow in the instrument cluster if both bulbs in one turn signal were burned out; if only one bulb on either side burns out, there would be no signal to the driver. Dealers will reprogram the body control module to fix the condition. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or complaints related to this issue.
    57,242 2014 Chevrolet Impalas equipped with belt-drive electric power steering. On certain vehicles, customers may experience reduced or no power steering assist at start-up or while driving due to a poor electrical ground connection to the Power Steering Control Module. If power steering is lost, a warning message is displayed on the Driver Information Center and a chime sounds. Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering mode, but would require greater driver effort particularly at low vehicle speeds. Paint may have seeped behind the nut on the power steering control module ground stud. Dealers will inspect and clean paint from behind the ground nut, re-torque the nut and update the power steering control module software at no charge. GM is aware of one crash but no injuries or fatalities related to this condition.
    1,919 2014-2015 Chevrolet Sparks imported from Korea that were assembled with a lower control arm bolt not fastened to specification. The condition could result in noise from the front suspension and separation of the lower control arm from the steering knuckle while driving resulting in loss of steering control. Dealers will inspect the left and right hand lower control arm attaching bolts to assure they are tightened to specification. GM knows of no crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.
    22 2015 model year Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon Denali vehicles in the U.S. In these vehicles, the roof carriers may have been attached with the wrong retaining nuts, resulting in holes or tears in the roof rail air bags if they deploy. Eight of these vehicles are in dealer stock and will be repaired before being sold.

    William Maley

    The Senate Grills GM's Top Lawyer and Delphi CEO

    Another day, another senate hearing into the General Motors ignition switch recall. Today, two new people were grilled by the committee about their knowledge in this mess.
    First up was Michael Millikin, GM's General Counsel. Millikin testified that he didn't know about the issue till February of this year. He also testified that lawyers working for GM during April 2013 had information pertaining to this from a case they were working on. However, they failed to notify engineers about the problem.
    "That was tragic. If they had brought it to my attention at that time, I certainly would have made sure that they had done something," Millikin said.
    Lower-level lawyers were among those fifteen people who let go a couple months ago.
    However, many of the senators were wondering why Millikin was still employed with the company.
    "I do not understand how the General Counsel for a litigation department that had this massive failure of responsibility, how he would be allowed to continue in that important leadership role in this company," said Senator Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Senate Commerce subcommittee.
    The senators said Millikin should be held responsible for the actions of the lower-level lawyers.
    “My view is the team has to change,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.
    Millikin testified that the company has brought in an outside law firm to review the litigation department.
    Also testifying today was Delphi CEO Rodney O'Neal. Delphi was the company who manufactured the switches and was being called in to explain their role in the recall. O'Neal testified that the company followed the specifications given by GM when making the switch. That included the low resistance turn because GM wanted it to turn smoothly.
    "GM knowingly approved a final design that included less torque than the original target. In our view, that approval established the final specification," said O'Neal.
    GM CEO Mary Barra who was at the hearing said that it was GM's fault for the design of the part, not Delphi.
    Source: Reuters, The Detroit News, (2)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Whoops!

    Time for a bit of an inception moment. Today, General Motors is recalling one of their recalls that was issued on Monday. The company explained that the one pertaining to the 2014 CTS doesn't cover all of the CTSes. Wait, we just made that somewhat confusing. The 2014 CTS Coupe and Wagon, which are based on the second-generation model are effected by this recall. The 2014 CTS sedan, which is brand new isn't a part of this.
    Why GM didn't make this clarification when they announced the recall is unknown. Our best guess is that GM was in rush when getting these recalls out and forgot to note that.
    Source: Detroit Free Press

    William Maley

    More Recalls Have Been Announced By The General

    Within a few days, General Motors has announced ten new recalls covering close to eight million vehicles in the U.S. alone.
    The largest recall of the ten is for 6.8 million vehicles in the U.S. (7,610,862 vehicles in North America) for ignition switches that can rotate out of the run position. GM says this is problem with how the key is designed and not the switch itself.
    1997 - 2005 Chevrolet Malibu
    1998 - 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
    1999 - 2004 Oldsmobile Alero
    1999 - 2005 Pontiac Grand Am
    2000 - 2005 Chevrolet Impala
    2000 - 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    2004 - 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

    Another group of vehicles, totaling 616,179 of these vehicles are in North America (554,328 vehicles in the U.S.), are being called in due to problems with their ignition switch as well. In this case, the ignition switch can be turned from the run position if the driver bumps the key fob.
    2004 - 2006 Cadillac SRX
    2013 - 2014 Cadillac CTS

    466,940 full-size trucks and SUVs equipped with four-wheel drive have a problem with the transfer case where the vehicle can electronically shift into neutral without input from the driver. This is due to a faulty control module.
    2014 - 2015 Chevrolet Silverado
    2014 - 2015 GMC Sierra
    2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
    2015 Chevrolet Suburban
    2015 GMC Yukon
    2015 GMC Yukon XL

    188,705 SUVs have "a possible electrical short in the driver's door module that could disable the power door lock and window switches and, in rare cases, overheat the module."
    2005 - 2007 Buick Ranier
    2005 - 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
    2005 - 2007 GMC Envoy
    2005 - 2007 Isuzu Ascender
    2005 - 2007 Saab 9-7X
    2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT
    2006 GMC Envoy XL

    33,085 compact sedans have a incorrect part in the driver's side front airbag inflator which can cause the inflator rupture and not inflate properly in the event of a crash. An added problem is that shrapnel can fly out and hit the driver.
    2013 - 2014 Chevrolet Cruze

    20,134 vehicles equipped with a engine block heater may have damaged insulation on the cord, creating a fire hazard.
    2011 - 2014 Chevrolet Cruze
    2012 - 2014 Chevrolet Sonic
    2013 - 2014 Chevrolet Trax
    2013 - 2014 Buick Encore
    2013 - 2014 Buick Verano

    12,002 HD Trucks equipped with an auxiliary battery have a problem where an electrical overload in the feed may cause the underhood fusible link to melt, causing smoke and possibly a fire.
    2007 - 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD
    2007 - 2011 GMC Sierra HD

    4,794 rear-drive sedans are being called in due to gears stripping in the windshield wiper motor, causing the wipers not to operate.
    2013 - 2014 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
    2014 Chevrolet SS

    2,064 Corvettes equipped with the FE1 or FE3 suspension have "a possible insufficient weld in the rear shocks that could lead to a fracture and/or reduce the shocks’ service life."
    2014 Corvette Stingray

    Finally, 117 vehicles in North America "may not have had a 'Superhold' joint fastener torqued to specification at the assembly plant.
    2014 Buick Regal
    2014 Cadillac XTS
    2014 Chevrolet Camaro
    2014 Chevrolet Impala

    Source: Autoblog, General Motors
    Press Releases are on Page 2
    GM Announces Four Vehicle Recalls
    2014-06-27

    DETROIT – General Motors (GM: NYSE) today announced four safety recalls covering 428,211 vehicles in the United States.

    Dealers will replace the driver’s side air bag inflator in 29,019 2013-2014 model year Chevrolet Cruze sedans in the U.S. and 4,066 in Canada. The inflator in the driver’s front air bag may rupture and/or the air bag may not inflate during air bag deployment. A rupture could propel metal pieces of the inflator into the vehicle cabin, possibly striking and seriously injuring the driver or other vehicle occupants. Additionally, if the inflator does not inflate the air bag, there is an increased risk of injury to the driver. GM is aware of one injury related to the issue.
    Dealers will recalibrate transfer case control module software in 392,459 full-size pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S. and 53,607 in Canada. An additional 20,874 were sold outside the U.S. and Canada. Affected are four-wheel-drive versions of the 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra; the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban; and the 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. In these vehicles, the transfer case may electronically switch to neutral without input from the driver. If this occurs while a vehicle is in motion, no power will go to the wheels. If the vehicle is stopped or parked, it may roll away if the parking brake is not set. GM is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.
    Dealers will inspect, and replace if necessary, the windshield wiper module assembly in 4,794 2013-2014 model year Chevrolet Caprice police cars and 2014 Chevrolet SS sport sedans in the U.S. If the motor gear teeth become stripped, the wipers may not operate. GM is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.
    Dealers will replace the two rear shock absorbers in 1,939 2014 model year Chevrolet Corvettes in the U.S. with the FE1 or FE3 suspension to repair a possible insufficient weld in the rear shocks that could lead to a fracture and/or reduce the shocks’ service life. Thirty-three additional vehicles were sold in Canada and another 82 were exported. GM is not aware of any crashes or injuries related to this issue.

    GM Announces Six Safety Recalls
    DETROIT – General Motors announced today it will conduct six new safety recalls in the United States involving about 7.6 million vehicles from the 1997 to 2014 model years.
    "We undertook what I believe is the most comprehensive safety review in the history of our company because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers," said GM CEO Mary Barra. "Our customers deserve more than we delivered in these vehicles. That has hardened my resolve to set a new industry standard for vehicle safety, quality and excellence."
    Among these recalled vehicles, GM is aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three fatalities. The fatal crashes occurred in older model full-size sedans being recalled for inadvertent ignition key rotation. There is no conclusive evidence that the defect condition caused those crashes.
    "We have worked aggressively to identify and address the major outstanding issues that could impact the safety of our customers," Barra said. "If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation."
    GM has made changes to every process that affects the safety of its vehicles, and the company has acted or will act on all 90 of the recommendations put forward by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas in his independent report to the company's Board of Directors.
    GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately $1.2 billion in the second quarter for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This amount includes a previously disclosed $700 million charge for recalls already announced during the quarter.
    Until the ignition recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that customers remove all items from their key ring, leaving only the vehicle key, and always use their seat belts. The key fob, if present, should also be removed from the key ring.

    William Maley

    The Details Are Out On The Compensation Fund For Victims Of The Ignition Switch Recall

    This morning, General Motors and Kenneth Feinberg have announced the details for the long awaited ignition switch recall compensation fund.
    The fund will be open to family members of anyone that was killed or injured due to ignition switch failure. That will include passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists that were killed or seriously injured because of the ignition switch. Victims will be able to begin the process starting on August 1st. Applications are due by December 31st. Feinberg says that claims will take around 90 to 180 days.
    As for how much GM will be paying out, that is completely up in the air. Feinberg has said that he isn't going to try and estimate how much will paid due to how many variables there are. GM hasn't placed a cap on how much money will be paid out by the fund, which leads some attorneys to think the company could be paying out billions of dollars.
    “GM understands. GM wants to do the right thing — and the right thing is paying people who can document their claims, and that’s a challenge. I would not dare estimate how many deaths or how many injuries until people file their claim and we evaluate the claim,” said Feinberg.
    However, victims who apply will have to prove their accident was the cause of the ignition switch. Also if you apply for the fund, you lose your right to sue GM at a later date.
    Source: Associated Press, The Detroit News
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    More Headaches For GM

    New documents released by congressional investigators last week are putting some doubt onto GM's own internal investigation and legal proceedings. The Wall Street Journal reports that new documents show Doug Parks, vice president of product programs was aware of the ignition switch problems on the Chevrolet Cobalt as early as 2005.
    At the time, Parks was the chief engineer on the Cobalt and Saturn Ion. On May 2, 2005, he was involved in a email chain with a dealer over a customer wanting the dealer to buy back his vehicle because the ignition switch moves out of the "run" position too easily. Parks responded by suggesting "coming up with a plug" to place on the key to reduce the weight and stop the switch from turning.
    "This appears to me to be the only real, quick solution," Parks said in the email.
    “As Ms. Barra has said repeatedly we have taken all of the personnel actions that we feel are appropriate at this time,” GM Spokesman Greg Martin told Bloomberg.
    These documents could cause big problems for GM's legal battles. The Consumerist explains that lawyers could argue that the lack of a recall, particularly when a former chief engineer and current vice president knew of this issue, could give some credence that the company was trying to cover up this problem.
    Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, Consumerist
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Some Intriguing Info Comes Out In GM's Order Guides

    Order guides are an interesting guide as they give us information on what's coming down the pipeline for a certain models. Such is the case for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon that will be going on sale later this year. Truck Trend got their hands on the order guides for both models and found out some intriguing information.
    Extended Cab models of both trucks will come standard with the 2.5L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. That's up from the 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet GM said earlier this year. A six-speed manual is standard across the range, with a six-speed automatic being optional. Max towing is rated at 3,500 lbs.
    Crew-Cab models get the 3.6L V6 as standard. Much like the 2.5L, the 3.6L specs are a bit different than what GM reported. The guide says the 3.6 produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet, compared to the 302 horsepower and 270 pound-feet as reported earlier. A six-speed automatic is standard. Max towing is rated at 7,000 lbs.
    Other bits of information that can be gleamed from the order guides include all models getting a rearview camera, four-way power adjustable driver's seat, and 4.2-inch infotainment system as standard equipment.
    Source: Truck Trend
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    June Appears To Be Recall Madness For General Motors

    Another day, another large recall set from General Motors. The automaker announced six recalls covering around 3.5 million vehicles from the 2000 to 2015 model years.
    The largest recall covers around 3.36 million vehicles built between 2000 and 2014 and sold in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The problem deals with the vehicle's ignition switch where it can kicked off from the run position due to if keychain is heavy or if they experience a "jarring" event. GM will modify the ignition key by drilling a four-by-six-millimeter hole to deal with weight of a keychain better. The vehicles affected include:
    2005-2009 Buick Lacrosse
    2006–2011 Buick Lucerne
    2004–2005 Buick Regal LS & GS
    2000–2005 Cadillac Deville
    2004–2011 Cadillac DTS
    2006-2014 Chevrolet Impala
    2006–2008 Chevy Monte Carlo

    GM says this issue has been linked to eight crashes and six injuries.
    The other five recalls are as followed:
    68,887 Cadillac ATSs from the 2013 to 2014 model year, and 21,863 CTS from the 2014 model year equipped with the automatic transmission may have a shift cable that isn't fully secured to the shifter or transmission bracket. If the cable separates, the driver will not be able to shift out of gear.
    57,192 2015 model year Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 HD and GMC Sierra 2500/3500 HD will need to be inspected for proper attachment of the power steering hose clamps to the pump. If unattached, the vehicle would resort to manual steering and brakes with no warning to the driver.
    16,932 model year 2011 Cadillac CTS sedans equipped with AWD may have a gasket leak where the CV joint meets with the rear driveshaft. The leak could cause the driveshaft to separate or become loose, which in turn causes a domino effect to where the side air bags deploy. GM is aware of 15 unintended deployments in this model.
    712 model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes equipped with the optional Competition Sport Seats will need a new side airbag because "an unbelted child and door trim may block the passenger seat side air bag vent in a deployment." GM advises not to have any small kids ride in the Corvette till this is fixed. (We're also wondering why anyone would let a small kid ride in a Corvette without putting on a seatbelt, but we digress. -WM)
    184 model year 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups equipped with vinyl floors and accessory all-weather floor mats purchased new with the vehicle will need to return the floor mats for a refund as the floor mats don't have any attachments to lock them into the floor. This could cause the mats to slide about under the driver's feet.

    Source: General Motors
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    GM Will Rework or Replace Keys on 3.16 Million U.S. Cars
    DETROIT – General Motors will rework or replace the ignition keys on about 3.16 million 2000 to 2014 model year cars in the U.S. because the ignition switch may inadvertently move out of the "run" position if the key is carrying extra weight and experiences some jarring event.
    The use of a key with a hole, rather than a slotted key, addresses the concern of unintended key rotation due to a jarring road event, such as striking a pothole or crossing railroad tracks.
    Only one of the models included in the U.S. recall of 3,160,725 cars is still in production – the previous generation Chevrolet Impala, which is sold to daily rental fleets as the Impala Limited. The total North America population – U.S., Canada, Mexico and exports – is 3,360,555.
    The safety recall follows a review of ignition issues following the recall in February of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars. GM is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to this recall.
    If the ignition switch moves out of the "run" position, there is an effect on power steering and power braking. In addition, the timing of the key movement out of the "run" position, relative to the activation of the sensing algorithm of the crash event, may result in the air bags not deploying.
    The cars being recalled are the:
    Buick Lacrosse MY 2005-2009
    Chevrolet Impala MY 2006-2014
    Cadillac Deville MY 2000–2005
    Cadillac DTS MY 2004–2011
    Buick Lucerne MY 2006–2011
    Buick Regal LS & GS MY 2004–2005
    Chevy Monte Carlo MY 2006–2008

    In these vehicles, the ignition switch may be unable to handle extra weight hanging on a slotted key. GM will add an insert to the ignition keys of the recalled vehicles to close the slot and leave a 4x6-millimeter hole through which the key ring could be attached. In vehicles where the key cover has been worn, new keys with holes instead of slots will be provided free of charge.
    Rework of the keys – adding key inserts – at GM dealerships is expected to begin in the next few weeks. Until the rework or replacement is completed, owners of the recalled cars are urged to remove additional weight from their key chains and drive with only the ignition key.
    In addition to the ignition key recall, GM also announced U.S. recalls for 165,770 vehicles in these five actions:
    68,887 model year 2013-14 Cadillac ATS and 21,863 model year 2014 Cadillac CTS sedans. In certain vehicles with automatic transmissions, the shift cable may not be fully secured to the shifter bracket or transmission bracket. If the shift cable comes out of the brackets, the driver may not be able to shift the transmission in or out of gear. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to this condition.
    57,192 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500 HD and 2015 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 GMC Sierra HD to inspect for proper attachment of power steering hose clamps to the power steering pump. If the vehicle is driven with the clamp unattached, the hose may disconnect from the pump or gear, causing a rapid loss of power steering fluid. This will result in loss of power steering assist and Hydro Boost powered brakes without warning. The vehicle would revert to manual brakes and manual steering. GM knows of no crashes or injuries from the condition. Dealers are to inspect power steering hose clamps in two locations to ensure they are properly attached.
    16,932 model year 2011 Cadillac CTS sedans with AWD. On some vehicles, a gasket leak where the constant velocity joint meets the rear propeller shaft may cause the rear propeller shaft to separate or become loose, making contact with the vehicle floor above and causing the rollover sensor to deploy the roof rail air bags. GM is aware of 15 unintended deployments, but injury data is unclear.
    712 model year 2014 Chevrolet Corvettes with optional Competition Sport Seats, because an unbelted child and door trim may block the passenger seat side air bag vent in a deployment. Dealers will replace the current air bag with a redesigned version. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to this condition, but advises customers to not allow small children in the front seat until the vehicle is serviced.
    184 model year 2014-15 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups with vinyl floors and accessory all-weather floor mats purchased new with the vehicle. The mats can slip under the driver's feet because the vinyl floors have no attachments to secure them in place. Customers are advised take the floor mats to their dealer for a full refund. GM is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the mats.
    GM expects to take a charge of up to approximately $700 million in the second quarter for the cost of recall-related repairs announced in the quarter. This amount includes a previously disclosed $400 million charge for recalls announced May 15 and May 20.

    William Maley

    Four New Recalls For GM

    General Motors today announced another set of recalls that covers over 500,000 vehicles,
    The first and largest recall is for the Chevrolet Camaro from the 2010-2014 model year due to the key fob being accidentally hit by a driver's knee and causing the key to move out of the move position. GM says this isn't a problem with the ignition switch, but with the key fob itself. GM also said that it is aware of three accidents where the key fob was the problem.
    A total of 511,508 Camaros worldwide will get a separate ignition key and fob to fix this problem. Dealers have been told to stop selling Camaros for the timebeing.
    The other recalls issued by GM include:
    28,789 Saab 9-3 Convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years for a cable in the driver's side seat belt tensioner that could break, causing the seat belt not to retract. Dealers will replace the tensioner, while GM will issue a lifetime warranty on the passenger side tensioner.
    21,567 Chevrolet Sonics from the 2012 model year equipped with the 1.8L four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. A transmission shaft can fail, causing a transmission problems, some of which could be sudden. Dealers will install a new shaft.
    14,765 Buick LaCrosses from the 2014 model year for a wiring splice in the driver’s door may corrode and break, allowing someone to operate the power windows and sunroof when key is no where near the vehicle. Dealers will inspect the wiring harness and if need be, replace the splice.

    Source: General Motors
    Press Release is on Page 2
    GM Proactively Announces Four New Recalls
    DETROIT – General Motors will recall all current generation Chevrolet Camaros because a driver’s knee can bump the key FOB and cause the key to inadvertently move out of the “run” position, with a corresponding reduction or loss of power.
    The issue, which may primarily affect drivers sitting close to the steering column, was discovered by GM during internal testing following the ignition switch recall earlier this year.
    “Discovering and acting on this issue quickly is an example of the new norm for product safety at GM,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Safety.
    The Camaro ignition system meets all GM engineering specifications and is unrelated to the ignition system used in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars included in the ignition switch recall.
    GM is aware of three crashes that resulted in four minor injuries that it believes may be attributed to this condition.
    The company will change the Camaro key to a standard design from one in which the key is concealed in the FOB and is opened by pushing a button. The change will make the ignition key and FOB independent of each other, so that inadvertent contact with the FOB won’t move the key from the “run” position. There are 464,712 Camaros from the 2010-2014 model years in the U.S. included in the recall. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total recall population is 511,528.
    Separately, GM also announced two safety recalls and one non-compliance recall involving a total of 65,121 cars in the U.S. all three of which were reported to the NHTSA on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Including Canada, Mexico and exports, the total recall population is 69,839.
    In all cases, customers will receive letters from GM letting them know when they can bring their vehicles into a dealership, where the recall repairs will be performed free of charge and courtesy transportation would be provided as needed.
    The recalls:
    28,789 Saab 9-3 convertibles from the 2004-2011 model years for an automatic tensioning system cable in the driver’s side front seat belt retractor that could break. If the cable were to break, seat belt webbing spooled out by the driver would not retract. The convertibles and sedans were investigated at the same time, but the convertible parts were not identical to the sedan parts. GM has since learned of customer complaints to the NHTSA for the convertibles. Dealers will replace the driver’s side retractor in the recalled vehicles. In addition, GM has issued a special coverage, so that if the same repair is required to the passenger side retractor it will be covered for the life of the vehicle. GM also extended the special coverage for passenger side belt retractors on the 2004 Saab 9-3 sedan from the original 10-year coverage to the life of the vehicle, like the convertibles. GM is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities due to this condition.
    21,567 Chevrolet Sonic 2012 model year compacts equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine for a condition in which the transmission turbine shaft may fracture as a result of a supplier quality issue. If this were to occur in first or second gear, the vehicle could not upshift into third through sixth gears. If the turbine shift fractured while in one of the higher gears, the vehicle would coast until it was moving slow enough to downshift into first or second gear. In both instances, a malfunction indicator lamp may illuminate. If driven in this condition for a long period of time, all forward gears may become inoperable. The engine would continue to run and all power accessories would function. Dealers will replace the transmission turbine shaft. GM is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.
    14,765 model year 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedans because a wiring splice in the driver’s door may corrode and break. That may communicate incorrect information to circuits that control the door chime and allow passenger windows, rear windows and the sunroof to function when the vehicle is turned off and the driver is not in the vehicle. In addition, a chime will not sound when the driver’s door is opened if the key is in the ignition.
    Dealers will inspect the driver door window motor harness and, if necessary, replace an electrical splice. GM is unaware of any thefts, crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.

    William Maley
    The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ended the daily fine of $7,000 to General Motors after the company turned over the docements and answered the 107 detailed questions about its recall. A Transportation Department spokeswoman said the daily fine ended on June 5th when GM handed over the 315-page internal report from Anton Valukas.
    “We have what we asked for. The (GM) report is consistent with what we said a few weeks ago, which is there are some culture issues,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transport Secretary.
    The total amount GM has pay to NHTSA? Around $420,000 which is due on July 4th.
    Source: The Detroit News
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    GM Talks About The Ignition Switch Recall Report and What's Being Done

    The internal investigation has been completed and General Motors has released the report that looks into the handling of the ignition switch recall. During a town hall meeting this morning at GM's headquarters, CEO Mary Barra said the report was "extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling," and announced changes to the company's policies and processes.
    “Overall the report found that, from start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failures which led to tragic results for many,” said Barra.
    The 315 page report, done by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas finds that General Motors suffered from “organizational dysfunction” and that there were deceit and missed opportunities for GM to come clean on the ignition switch problem. The report also determined that Barra, General Counsel Michael Millikin, and head of global product development Mark Reuss did not learn of the ignition switch problem and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on January 31, 2014.
    "The structure within GM was one in which no one was held responsible and no one took responsibility," said the report.
    Barra announced at the meeting that fifteen individuals have been fired after it was determined to have acted inappropriately. More than half of those individuals were in executive roles or higher. Another five individuals have received disciplinary action.
    Barra also announced a compensation program that will be headed up by attorney Kenneth Feinberg. The program will offer compensation to those who either suffered a serious injury or lost a loved one due to the ignition switch problem.
    GM has also taken action by instituting a number of changes on how it deals with safety issues.
    Appointing Jeff Boyer to the new position of Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety
    Adding 35 product safety investigators
    Creating the Speak up for Safety program that allows employees to report on potential safety issues
    Introducing a new Global Product Integrity organization to enhance overall safety and quality performance
    Restructuring the recall decision making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company

    "Together, we have to understand that the attitudes and practices that allowed this failure to occur will not be tolerated. Also, if we think that cleaning up this problem and making a few process changes will be enough, we are badly mistaken. Our job is not just to fix the problem. Our job must be to set a new industry standard for safety, quality, and excellence,” said Barra.
    Source: The Detroit News (2), Motoramic, General Motors, Valukas Report
    Press Release is on Page 2
    GM Receives Extremely ‘Thorough,’ ‘Brutally Tough’ and ‘Deeply Troubling’ Valukas Report
    2014-06-05
    Company will act on all recommendations
    15 GM employees no longer with company
    Five other GM employees disciplined
    Report reveals no conspiracy or cover-up
    Feinberg to administer compensation fund

    DETROIT – General Motors CEO Mary Barra said today that GM has received the findings of an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas into the Cobalt ignition switch recall and plans to act on all of its recommendations.
    She again expressed deep sympathy for the victims of accidents related to the ignition switch defect and their families. In addition, Barra announced that Kenneth Feinberg will administer a compensation program for those who have lost loved ones or who have suffered serious physical injuries as the result of an ignition switch failure in recently recalled vehicles.
    Barra described the Valukas findings as "extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling."
    “Overall the report found that, from start to finish, the Cobalt saga was riddled with failures which led to tragic results for many,” Barra said, noting that the report revealed no conspiracy by the company to cover up the facts and no evidence that any employee made a trade-off between safety and cost.
    Barra said 15 individuals who were determined to have acted inappropriately are no longer with the company. Disciplinary actions have been taken against five other employees.
    GM Chairman Tim Solso said the Board of Directors has been working closely with the management team to get the facts on the ignition switch issue and to see that changes are made to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.
    “The Board engaged Anton Valukas to investigate and determine what went wrong while already working with GM’s leadership to make necessary changes,” Solso said. “We have received and reviewed Valukas’ very thorough report and are continuing to work with management to oversee the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.
    “In addition, the Board also retained independent counsel to advise us with respect to this situation and governance and risk management issues. We will establish a stand-alone risk committee to assist in overseeing these efforts.” Solso said. “The Board, like management, is committed to changing the company’s culture and processes to ensure that the problems described in the Valukas report never happen again.
    “The Valukas report confirmed that Mary Barra, Mike Millikin and Mark Reuss did not learn about the ignition switch safety issues and the delay in addressing them until after the decision to issue a recall was made on Jan. 31, 2014,” Solso said.
    Barra emphasized to employees that the company has adopted and will continue to adopt sweeping changes in the way it handles safety issues. The actions to date include:
    Appointing Jeff Boyer as Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety, elevating and integrating GM’s safety processes under a single leader
    Adding 35 product safety investigators that will allow GM to identify and address issues much more quickly
    Instituting the Speak up for Safety program encouraging employees to report potential safety issues quickly and forcefully
    Creating a new Global Product Integrity organization to enhance overall safety and quality performance, and
    Restructuring the recall decision making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company.

    In her remarks to employees, Barra said she is committed to leading "in a way that brings honor and respect to this company.
    "Together, we have to understand that the attitudes and practices that allowed this failure to occur will not be tolerated,” she said. “Also, if we think that cleaning up this problem and making a few process changes will be enough, we are badly mistaken. Our job is not just to fix the problem. Our job must be to set a new industry standard for safety, quality, and excellence.”

    William Maley

    The engineer at the center of the ignition switch mess talks with investigators

    Ray DeGiorgio, the General Motors engineer who was called out during the GM ignition switch hearing and subsequently suspended, spoke with congressional investigators earlier this month.
    The New York Times reports that DeGiorgio talked with investigators for ten hours on May 19th about his involvement in the ignition switch recall. As you might recall, DeGiorgio was the engineer who signed off on a change to the ignition switch in certain GM vehicles. However during testimony in a wrongful death suit, DeGiorgio claimed he didn't remember authorizing any change to the ignition switch.
    During his questioning with investigators, DeGiorgio appeared “genuinely upset” according to a house aide.
    “He came across as if he was just overburdened and just missed it,” said the aide.
    DeGiorgio said that he forgot that he signed off on the change for the ignition switch because it was a part of of a package of changes, and that seven years had passed from the time he signed off to testifying. DeGiorgio also didn't give any information that indicated that GM CEO Mary Barra knew about this problem before she took on her new role earlier this year.
    Source: New York Times
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Dan Akerson Stands By Barra On The Ignition Switch Recall

    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.
    Source: Forbes
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Gulp.. GM Gets Slammed With A $35 Million Fine

    General Motors has agreed to pay a $35 million fine over its handling of the ignition switch recall. This amount represents the maximum fine issued by the Government.
    "Safety is our top priority, and today's announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx.
    The ignition switch recall covers 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice, Saturn Ion, and Sky models built from the 2005 to 2011 model years. This problem is linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths.
    "No excuse, process, or organizational structure will be allowed to stand in the way of any company meeting their obligation to quickly find and fix safety issues in a vehicle," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "It's critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers promptly report and remedy safety-related defects that have the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation's highways."
    As part of the agreement, GM will also,
    Share results of the internal probe into why the recalls were delayed with NHTSA
    Make "significant and wide-ranging" changes to how it finds defects and announces recalls
    Work on increasing efforts to contact owners of the affected vehicles about the problem
    Pay an additional amount of money to the Government for withholding information

    “We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety. We will emerge from this situation a stronger company,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a press release.
    Source: General Motors, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    GM Signs Consent Order with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has come to an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to report in a timely manner the ignition switch defect. As part of this agreement, GM will pay a $35 million fine.
    “We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “We will emerge from this situation a stronger company.”
    Working with NHTSA, GM has already begun reviewing processes and policies to avoid future recalls of this nature.
    “We are working hard to improve our ability to identify and respond to safety issues,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of Global Vehicle Safety, who is assigned to integrate safety policies across the company. “Among other efforts, GM has created a new group, the Global Product Integrity unit, to innovate our safety oversight; we are encouraging and empowering our employees to raise their hands to address safety concerns through our Speak Up for Safety initiative, and we have set new requirements for our engineers to attain Black Belt certification through Design for Six Sigma.”
    Having signed this agreement, GM now has its sights set on effectively serving customers and completing the ignition switch recall.
    “GM’s ultimate goal is to create an exemplary process and produce the safest cars for our customers – they deserve no less,” said Barra.
    U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Record Fines, Unprecedented Oversight Requirements in GM Investigation
    Friday, May 16, 2014
    General Motors agrees to pay maximum $35 million penalty for violating federal safety laws in Chevrolet Cobalt investigation

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that General Motors (GM) has agreed to pay a record $35 million civil penalty and to take part in unprecedented oversight requirements as a result of findings from NHTSA's timeliness investigation regarding the Chevrolet Cobalt and the automaker's failure to report a safety defect in the vehicle to the federal government in a timely manner. The defect resulted in the non-deployment of airbags in certain Chevrolet Cobalt and other GM models. This action represents the single highest civil penalty amount ever paid as a result of a NHTSA investigation of violations stemming from a recall.
    As part of today's agreement, set forth in a Consent Order signed with NHTSA, the agency also ordered GM to make significant and wide-ranging internal changes to its review of safety-related issues in the United States, and to improve its ability to take into account the possible consequences of potential safety-related defects. GM will also pay additional civil penalties for failing to respond on time to the agency's document demands during NHTSA's investigation.
    "Safety is our top priority, and today's announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx. "While we will continue to aggressively monitor GM's efforts in this case, we also urge Congress to support our GROW AMERICA Act, which would increase the penalties we could levy in cases like this from $35 million to $300 million, sending an even stronger message that delays will not be tolerated."
    Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining that a safety-related defect exists or that a vehicle is not in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards and to promptly conduct a recall. GM admits in the Consent Order that it did not do so.
    Today's action is historic in that the provisions of the Consent Order will be immediately enforceable in federal court if GM does not fully comply. The Consent Order will hold GM accountable, push the automaker to make needed institutional change, and ensure that replacement parts are produced quickly and recalled vehicles are repaired promptly.
    "No excuse, process, or organizational structure will be allowed to stand in the way of any company meeting their obligation to quickly find and fix safety issues in a vehicle," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "It's critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers promptly report and remedy safety-related defects that have the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation's highways."
    In the Consent Order, GM agreed to provide NHTSA with full access to the results of GM's internal investigation into this recall, to take steps to ensure its employees report safety-related concerns to management, and to speed up the process for GM to decide whether to recall vehicles.
    The Consent Order also requires GM to notify NHTSA of changes to its schedule for completing production of repair parts by October 4. GM must also take steps to maximize the number of vehicle owners who bring in their vehicles for repair, including targeted outreach to non-English speakers, maintaining up-to-date information on its website, and engaging with vehicle owners through the media. The Consent Order requires GM to submit reports and meet with NHTSA so that the agency may monitor the progress of GM's recall and other actions required by the consent order.
    Both in 2007 and again in 2010, NHTSA reviewed data related to the non-deployment of airbags in certain Chevy Cobalt models but each time, determined that it lacked the data necessary to open a formal investigation. However, on February 7, 2014, GM announced it would recall certain model vehicles for a defect where the vehicle's ignition switch may unintentionally move out of the "run" position that could result in the air bag not deploying in the event of a crash. GM had failed to advise NHTSA of this defect at the time of the agency's earlier reviews.
    After review and consultation by NHTSA, GM twice expanded the recall to include a total of 2,190,934 vehicles in the United States. The GM recall covers the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice and 2007-2010 Saturn Sky vehicles.
    Over the past ten years, NHTSA defect investigations resulted in 1,299 recalls involving more than 95 million vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment, which has helped the agency to reduce vehicle fatalities to historic, all-time lows. Including today's consent order, the agency has obtained record fines of $124.5 million in the last five years from automakers who have failed to promptly report defects to NHTSA.

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