BALTIMORE (WJZ) — General Motors fires more than a dozen employees over faulty ignition switches that went ignored for years. But an internal report finds there was no cover up.
A Maryland teen was among the 13 deaths linked to the defect.
Meghan McCorkell spoke with her mother.
The report details troubling failures by GM employees to fix the defect that led to at least 13 deaths.
“A pattern of incompetence.” General Motors ousts 15 employees and disciplines five more after an internal probe reveals their role in the deadly ignition switch scandal.
“This report is extremely thorough, brutally tough and deeply troubling,” said Mary Barra, GM CEO.
The new 315-page report shows problems with the ignition switch were discovered as early as 1999, with some engineers referring to it as “the switch from hell.”
The defect allows engines to turn off while in motion and disabled the airbags.
While the problem was known, no one took action until 2014.
“Mr. Valukas’ report revealed that there was no conspiracy by the corporation to cover up facts,” said Barra.
But the mother of a Maryland teen whose death is linked to the faulty switch says she isn’t buying it.
“They knew. They covered this up,” said Laura Christian.
Christian’s daughter, 16-year-old Amber Marie Rose, died in 2004 when her Chevy Cobalt crashed in Charles County. The airbags failed to deploy.
Speaking to WJZ by phone, Christian says she doesn’t believe the report tells the full story.
“I’m happy to see that they are calling themselves incompetent and negligent, but I still think that there’s more that they are not revealing to all of us,” she said. “Like, really how many others were involved in it? And it had to be more than 20 people knowing.”
She’s waiting for the Department of Justice to release its investigation, which could result in criminal charges.
Some of the victims’ families plan to protest outside the GM shareholders meeting in Detroit next week.
A congressional probe of the GM recall will continue later this month.
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