In 2014, Mary Barra was named as General Motors CEO. A couple of months later, GM was recalling millions of cars with a possible ignition switch defect that was linked to more than a dozen deaths. Our teacher gave us the task to prepare a 500-word blog post as we were part of the PR team. Here is my version of the CEO blog post.
We let you down
On February 6, 2014, I, Mary Bara, CEO at General Motors, was informed that some of our engines had a faulty ignition switch. This technical default could immobilize the car while driven and prevent the airbags from inflating. At this time, this issue might underlie the death of 13 people. Lives were taken because we didn’t do our job properly. This is a tragic event for the families. This is a tragic event for everyone.
On February 7, 2014, we recalled about 800,00 of our small cars Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s to prevent any other incident. Little did we know, it would be the beginning of a series of recalls. After a first investigation, a second recall was initiated on March 31. We concluded that over 1.5 million more cars of six different models could be affected by the defective ignition switch.
I feel deeply sorry for our customers, for everyone who has been affected by the ignition-switch recalls. I feel deeply sorry for the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured. I extend the condolences from the deepest part of my heart.
We understand this is a huge disappointment for you. It’s a disappointing journey for all of us. We put your safety at risk and the recent events are unacceptable. At General Motors, we are committed to our valued customers, your safety is our main priority. You deserved better, a lot better. We let you down, “we didn’t do our job”.
I was unaware of or not informed of the faulty ignition switches before the events took place. First and foremost, this mistake should have never happened. We are taking full responsibility for our actions. I’m taking full responsibility for our actions. We started an internal investigation in February to understand what went wrong and how we can repay our community for the damages that we caused. We are actually working with Kenneth Feinberg to set up a plan to compensate the victims of recalled GM cars.
We are doing everything in our power to cooperate with the government during their own investigation. We want to be transparent with you, we owe you this transparency, and we will share with you any result from our investigation. I want to confirm you that we accelerated the efforts to fix the switches and we will communicate with you the different measure we will take in order for this to never happen again.
Words cannot express how we truly regret the recent incidents and frustration that it caused to our drivers. I extend my sincerest condolences to anyone from the bottom of my heart.
General Motors CEO