New changes at General Motors have seemingly reinforced the company’s desires to ensure that the recall scandal it’s currently embroiled in doesn’t occur again in the future, as GM on Tuesday announced the formation of an interior group that CEO Mary Barra described as a ”global product integrity organization,” tasked with monitoring new products for safety issues.
“This is a group that, many parts of it, will be dedicated to reviewing products going through the pipeline now and in the future,” Barra said, making her first public appearance since testifying before Congress at the beginning of the month, Autoblog reports. GM’s vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss, will be leading the group.
The team will be working with recent General Motors appointee Jeff Boyer, who last month was established as the company’s vice president of global vehicle safety. What’s interesting is that in all these years leading up to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles these past few months, a team monitoring safety efforts at one of the largest automakers in the world wasn’t in place to begin with.
Outside of the announcement of the new safety group, Barra shed little light on other matters at the heart of the debacle, Autoblog reports.
Earlier this week, Autoblog reported that GM had removed two high-level executives from their posts, including Selim Bingol, the former senior vice president of communication. That followed the suspension of two engineers shortly before, both of whom played key roles in the communication failures that ultimately led to the deaths of 13 people and 31 accidents as a result of the defective ignition spring.
“Let me be really clear, these are real people with real careers, and I’m personally dedicated to making sure we have true facts of what happened. … We agonized over that decision, but we thought that was the right thing for the individuals and right thing for the company at this time,” Barra said at the time, per Autoblog.
Barra said the company continues to make progress with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Jeff Boyer is having regular sessions with NHTSA, and they’ve made some suggestions on how we can improve, and we’ll implement them immediately,” she said, though GM continues to rack up fines of $7,000 per day, as it has yet to answer a list of questions put forth by the agency.