You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • OPEC seen unlikely to cut output despite oil glut
    VIENNA (AP) — OPEC oil ministers meeting in Vienna today are in a bind. Prices are plunging — and in the short term, the cartel may not be able to do much about it.
  • Toyota recalls more cars for air bag problems
    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more than 40,000 vehicles in Japan today as part of a worldwide scare over defective air bags and officials are investigating a new type of air bag problem that could lead to further recalls.
  • Obama's immigration move disappoints businesses
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration left out some of the business community's top priorities, disappointing business leaders who might have stepped up to defend his policies in the face of Republican
Advertisement

2 GM engineers suspended

Ignition switch fix includes lock cylinder replacement

– General Motors has suspended two engineers with pay for their part in the company’s long failure to recall Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars equipped with a defective ignition switch linked to 13 deaths, the automaker said Thursday.

GM chief executive Mary Barra said the two had been placed on leave after a briefing from Anton Valukas, a former federal prosecutor leading an internal investigation into circumstances leading to the recall.

The engineers were not named.

“This is an interim step as we seek the truth about what happened,” Barra said in a statement. “It was a difficult decision, but I believe it is best for GM.”

Later Thursday, GM said it is expanding its ignition switch repair to include the replacement of lock cylinders for the 2.6 million vehicles being recalled. The company said faulty lock cylinders can allow ignition keys to be removed while a vehicle is running, raising the risk of rollaways and crashes.

GM, which has an Allen County truck assembly plant, said it knows of several hundred complaints of keys coming out of ignitions and one case where the problem resulted in a crash and an injury claim. The company said it knows of no deaths linked to the problem.

Barra faced a barrage of questions in congressional hearings last week about the recall, which began more than a decade after the company first noticed problems with the ignition switches.

The work of GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio came in for especially harsh scrutiny after Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., accused him of lying under oath during a deposition last year in a civil case brought by the family of a Cobalt crash victim.

McCaskill said DeGiorgio had switched out the unsafe ignition switches in several models in 2006 then covered it up by using the same part number for the new switch.

Documents GM turned over to Congress indicated that DeGiorgio approved a design change in 2006 that made the ignition switch less susceptible to being inadvertently turned off.

Asked by McCaskill whether DeGiorgio had lied under oath, Barra hedged. That angered lawmakers, who called on Barra to fire the engineer. In a statement Thursday, McCaskill called the suspensions long overdue.

Advertisement