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GM Recall Fallout

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M. Carmen Benavides, the director of field product investigations and evaluations with GM, has been reassigned within the safety division of the company. At any other time, no one would be covering this shift in personnel, but this development comes right on the heels of a massive recall in which the ignition devices of several GM vehicles were malfunctioning. According to some reports, GM was well aware of this default, and chose to ignore it. This malfunction has now been linked to 13 deaths, and GM is under fire about how it handled the situation.

Faulty ignition switches have led to the recall of millions of vehicles.
Faulty ignition switches have led to the recall of millions of vehicles.

GM insists that this is not a demotion, and Ms. Benavides is not being punished for her handling of the incident. They have stated that they shifted Ms. Benavides to a different position in order to better serve GM’s safety division. This is hard to believe for many, seeing as Ms. Benavides name is plastered all over documents dealing with the incident and correspondence with NHTSA. Benavides has been moved to director of safety improvement initiatives, and her old post at GM has been replaced by Brain Latouf.

GM is now under investigation by NHTSA, the SEC, the DoJ, US Congress, and a number of US States. With heat like this on GM, we can probably expect to see a heavy fine placed on the company as well as several more “shifts” and “retirements” within the company.

Source: Automotive News


  1. heardd16

    This morning’s podcast on Automotive News discussed a family from Georgia who is filing their second lawsuit in two years against GM concerning the faulty ignition switch. The family accuses GM of fraudulently concealing prior knowledge of the faulty ignition switch. I wonder if this, compiled with investigation by a number of government entities, has anything to do with Benavides reassignment.

    May 13, 2014
  2. Louis Ike
    Louis Ike

    This article seems to tie in with my post regarding the implementation of data collecting devices in all new vehicles. It seems that the faulty ignition may have been found much sooner had the early accidents been equipped with the data monitors. I am also interested by the fact that GM may have concealed evidence of this faulty ignition for quite some time.

    May 13, 2014
  3. bill cosgrove
    bill cosgrove

    Remember — People and PROCESS!!!

    May 13, 2014
  4. Kade Kenlon
    Kade Kenlon

    That’s right Bill, you can’t be successful without strong leadership and a good process! GM failed to step back and ask, “what isn’t right at this moment?” They were not paying attention to the signs that suggested a major problem was imminent.

    May 13, 2014
  5. Kuangdi Zhao
    Kuangdi Zhao

    I am curious that whether this is a design problem or quality problem? If it is a design problem, GM and supplier should split the responsibility. If it is a quality problem, supplier should carry the main responsibility.

    May 14, 2014

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