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William Maley

GM News: New Documents Reveal A Current GM VP Knew About The Ignition Switch Problem

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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.


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In all honesty I wonder how much this is going to hurt GM.

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Guest Anonymous

Sounds like a wonderful solution he concocted, too. I  for one am relieved he really followed up on the matter and, like GM's great many "agents of change," am relieved to see he's been promoted. 

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From an engineering stand point, he found a quick solution that should have been implemented. As I have said before, I think this came down to legal and accounting saying we can brush this under the table and pocket millions.

 

I do not think this will affect GM that much as most people are more upset at the idiot House and Senate for not taking care of the country and getting things done. Most realize the political machine is trying to use this to cover up their ineffective work.

 

Kick all the DC bums out and let get moving forward in fixing this country, the tax code and growing our economy.

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From an engineering stand point, he found a quick solution that should have been implemented. As I have said before, I think this came down to legal and accounting saying we can brush this under the table and pocket millions.

 

I do not think this will affect GM that much as most people are more upset at the idiot House and Senate for not taking care of the country and getting things done. Most realize the political machine is trying to use this to cover up their ineffective work.

 

Kick all the DC bums out and let get moving forward in fixing this country, the tax code and growing our economy.

 

You would have to primary everyone out first.  Most primary challengers this year are losing to incumbents.  Maybe in 2016......

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From an engineering stand point, he found a quick solution that should have been implemented. As I have said before, I think this came down to legal and accounting saying we can brush this under the table and pocket millions.

 

I do not think this will affect GM that much as most people are more upset at the idiot House and Senate for not taking care of the country and getting things done. Most realize the political machine is trying to use this to cover up their ineffective work.

 

Kick all the DC bums out and let get moving forward in fixing this country, the tax code and growing our economy.

 

You would have to primary everyone out first.  Most primary challengers this year are losing to incumbents.  Maybe in 2016......

 

 

 

The political system in our country is much more badly broken than GM.   Of all the major things in our country, GM is one of the most effective and sanely run.

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Guest Anonymous

From an engineering standpoint, he found a band-aid designed to satisfy his higher ups--the bean-counters that ran GM up until this story broke. And if I understand correctly, his "fix" still isn't enough to eliminate the switch from shutting off on its own. 

 

Forgive me, I just have a really hard time believing GM's best and brightest couldn't tell the differences between an ignition switch that functioned properly (didn't turn so easily as to shut off on its own) and one that didn't. Of course, when you have people "forgetting" that they ordered a part be redesigned, that can throw a monkey wrench into the works.

 

The political system is broken because of companies like GM and the influence they buy, too. Plain and simple.

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From an engineering stand point, he found a quick solution that should have been implemented. As I have said before, I think this came down to legal and accounting saying we can brush this under the table and pocket millions.

 

I do not think this will affect GM that much as most people are more upset at the idiot House and Senate for not taking care of the country and getting things done. Most realize the political machine is trying to use this to cover up their ineffective work.

 

Kick all the DC bums out and let get moving forward in fixing this country, the tax code and growing our economy.

 

You would have to primary everyone out first.  Most primary challengers this year are losing to incumbents.  Maybe in 2016......

 

 

 

The political system in our country is much more badly broken than GM.   Of all the major things in our country, GM is one of the most effective and sanely run.

 

 

I would say that Ford has been better run in the last 8 years than GM.  Currently, what you said may well be true.

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