As you can hear in the video below from our CEO Mary Barra, we are committed to making sure nothing like the ignition switch recall ever happens again.
We have conducted a full-scale reexamination of how we handle safety evaluations and recall decisions, and we’re already seeing improvement from the changes we’ve made.
We’ve restructured the recall decision-making process to raise it to the highest levels of the company. Recall decisions are being made swiftly with a sense of urgency – reducing our previous timelines by weeks in many cases.
Importantly, as Mary also mentions in the video above, we are mining data from any source available to signal a potential issue so we can investigate it.
For instance, a recent midsize car recall had no field data indicating there was an issue – no accidents or trend data. A couple of customers – out of millions who owned these specific vehicles – experienced an issue and let us know. We tested it and decided despite the rarity of the occurrence, it still warranted a recall because of a possible safety defect.
Similarly, in a recent full-size crossover recall, we noticed the flexible steel cable connecting the seat belt to the vehicle could fatigue and separate over time because of certain movement in the seat. We acted now based on a small number of warranty claims instead of waiting for more long-term data.
These examples of quick investigation and action are a direct result of the changes we are making within our engineering organization. We’ve also made safety a priority for every employee at GM by creating a Speak Up For Safety program where every employee has a direct link to my team – and thereby, a direct link to Mary herself. Since launching the program, our employees have spoken up nearly 300 times and we are investigating each of those items.
We want you to feel confident we are putting your safety at the forefront of everything we do. We are designing and validating vehicles with this in mind. But when necessary, if we find any safety issue that merits a recall, we will take action.
I believe this is the best way we can earn and keep your trust, and you have my full commitment to these efforts.