Your GM Recall Investigation Cheat Sheet

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This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?


1st Gear: A Very Special TMS Today

In a few minutes, GM is going to release its report on the GM Recall and, since that's the only big news this morning, I'm going to use the gears here to take a little bit from every report that's out this morning so you can get ready.

2nd Gear: "More Than A Dozen Employees" And Execs Are Being Dismissed/Retired

General Motors Co. will announce that more than a dozen employees and executives have been dismissed from the company or retired this monring as it releases at 9 a.m. Thursday the details of its internal investigation into why the automaker failed for years to recall 2.6 million cars linked to at least 13 deaths and 47 crashes.

3rd Gear: Why Didn't GM Change The Part Number?

After GM ignition-switch engineer Ray DeGiorgio authorized the ignition-switch redesign in 2006, the company didn't change the part number. That made it difficult for future GM engineers, safety officials and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to identify the problem and order a recall.


4th Gear: It's A Cultural Problem

An internal probe of General Motors Co.'s delay in recalling defective cars is expected to conclude there was no concerted coverup, but that managers operating in isolation failed to make connections and act on evidence of problems now linked to fatal accidents, people familiar with the situation said.


5th Gear: No One At The Top Knew

The probe is expected to conclude that CEO Mary Barra, executives who reported directly to her, the board of directors and former CEO Dan Akerson did not know about the defective switches before December 2013, the newspaper said, citing the people.


Reverse: The Good Old Days

On this day in 1998, 3,400 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union walk out on their jobs at a General Motors (GM) metal-stamping factory in Flint, Michigan, beginning a strike that will last seven weeks and stall production at GM facilities nationwide.


Neutral: Do you buy it?

Any of it?

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Ash78, voting early and often

Yes. I've had about 5 jobs in firms with employee counts from 100 up to 3,000. The smaller ones are where "everybody knew everything" and the larger ones have been microcosms of large corporations — willful ignorance, highly delineated roles (silos), and plausible deniability everywhere. The GM defense doesn't surprise me one bit and I actually sympathize with them. My mistakes on the job have million-dollar consequences (even with oversight), but no lives at stake.

If anything good comes of this, it might be some sort of holistic project management changes or final QC where one group has audit control and accountability over the entire finished product. Think about a shadetree mechanic who knows his car like the back of his hand, flaws and all. Something like that, but official.

It's obvious that we're moving away from a utilitarian view on auto fatalities (a la Fight Club) and more towards a zero tolerance plan.

Twenty-sigma black belts needed.