GM Adds More Product Investigators in New Safety Push | Edmunds

GM Adds More Product Investigators in New Safety Push


Just the Facts:
  • General Motors is more than doubling the number of product investigators in a new safety push following the recall of 2.6 million of its cars for defective ignition switches linked to 13 deaths.
  • A top GM executive is promising "militaristic zeal" in resolving safety issues.
  • A reorganization in GM's top ranks will result in a "fundamentally different way to go to market with our cars and our trucks," said Mark Reuss, head of GM product development, in a conference call on Tuesday.

DETROIT — General Motors is more than doubling the number of product investigators in a new safety push following the recall of 2.6 million of its cars for defective ignition switches linked to 13 deaths.

A top GM executive is promising "militaristic zeal" in resolving safety issues.

The automaker is in the midst of a major recall of its small cars, including all 2005-'10 Chevrolet Cobalt sedans.

A reorganization in GM's top ranks will result in a "fundamentally different way to go to market with our cars and our trucks," said Mark Reuss, head of GM product development, in a conference call on Tuesday.

Reuss announced that GM is getting 35 additional product investigators on top of about 20 already in place at the automaker.

"They are the front line of any problem that we see at a dealership or customer level," Reuss said. "They will be deployed to the accident site, the dealership and make decisions quickly."

Their task will be to "prevent, identify and resolve" problems, Reuss added.

Reuss said the additional product investigators are in response to GM's ongoing internal investigation into why it took so long to initiate the small-car recall.

Ken Morris, the newly named GM vice president of Global Product Integrity, said that the automaker will have a group of experts in place to look at problems with pre-production vehicles.

"We're going to have a group of experts look at the problems that we're having on pre-production cars and they will categorize all of them," Morris said. "In this case, it would've been a safety issue and we would've flagged it immediately in pre-production."

Reuss said he would not discuss the ongoing recall, but said: "The parts are being delivered to the dealerships."

In a major internal shakeup, GM said John Calabrese, vice president of global vehicle engineering, will retire. His department will be split into two organizations called Global Product Integrity and Global Vehicle Components and Sub-Systems.

Edmunds says: All of these changes at GM are designed to help catch future safety issues, which is good news for consumers.

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