New developments in GM ignition switch recall investigation

(WXYZ) - A federal grand jury is now investigating the General Motors ignition switch recall and will soon issue subpoenas in the case.

This news comes after auto parts supplier Delphi turned over documents to a congressional committee.

The documents show GM engineers identified the problem in 2001 and shows a high ranking executive  knew of the issues in 2005.

It also shows that the company may have used the engineer that identified the problem as a scapegoat.

In the newly released documents is an email dated September 21, 2001 from GM engineer Ray DeGiorgio, he asks for a response as to why 10 out of 12 ignition switches failed to meet engineering requirements. He also noted that the failure is significant and warrants halting further shipments until new components are redesigned.

Other documents show a GM crash test special report to "evaluate an anomaly" in the ignition switch, dated July 2004.

In November of that same year, a document from DeGiorgio shows several new designs to fix the problem.

But why weren't they acted on? Seems GM ignored the issue, but DeGiorgio, first revealed by GM as the engineer that failed to recode the part and given much of the blame, is seen in a different light in these documents.

The paperwork shows DeGiorgio continued to work with Delphi on a solution even researching another parts supplier to fix the issue. All this when upper management turned a blind eye to the problem.

A new face has emerged with the new documents: Doug Parks, now GM's VP of product programs and an executive that works closely with CEO Mary Barra.

He's named in a May, 2004 email from a dealer wanting an ignition fix for a customer. According to the Wall Street Journal, Parks offered a a solution in the email, a clear indication he was aware of the problem, but no action was taken.

Parks works for GM today and was not part of the 15 employees released by Barra. According to the CEO in a interview, there will be no more dismissals related to the ignition switch recall.

GM did release this statement: “we have openly acknowledged that the southern district of New York is looking into activities at General Motors.  A grand jury and subpoenas are part of that process.  As we have said before, we are fully cooperating and will continue to do so.”

Read the documents HERE.

Print this article Back to Top