Wednesday morning car news roundup, April 2, 2014


The GM saga:

  • These words to haunt GM: ‘Acceptable business case’ – DetN: No matter how many times General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra uttered the words ‘unacceptable’ and ‘not the way we do business’ to the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Tuesday, nine words echoed in a nauseating loop: ‘None of the solutions represents an acceptable business case.’
  • GM avoided defective switch redesign in 2005 to save a dollar each – Reuters: General Motors Co in 2005 decided not to change an ignition switch eventually linked to the deaths of at least 13 people because it would have added about a dollar to the cost of each car, according to an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators.
  • GM ignition recall-suit consolidation sought before Toyota judge in Calif. – Automotive News: GM’s growing number of lawsuits over the recalls of now 2.59 million small cars for faulty ignition switches should be consolidated before the same judge overseeing Toyota’s acceleration cases, a lawyer for vehicle owners said.
  • US: Recall controversy hasn’t hit GM sales – yet – Just-auto: Publicity over a spate of recalls including the ignition switch event for which CEO Mary Barra was called to testify to a Congressional committee, doesn’t appear to be affecting General Motors sales, US analysts said.
  • GM’s Barra keeps cool under tough questions from Congress – DetN: General Motors CEO Mary Barra faced rough questioning from a House committee Tuesday, taking responsibility for the company’s massive recall of 2.6 million cars for ignition switch failures, but dodging many questions about what went wrong.
  • GM’s Barra: ‘I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced’ – Washington Post: General Motors chief executive Mary T. Barra on Tuesday deflected a barrage of questions on Capitol Hill about the automaker’s failure to fix a deadly ignition-switch flaw, telling lawmakers that she was unaware of the decade-old problem until early this year.
  • Barra survives ordeal by committee – FT: Chief questioned over botched recall. Debate revolved around why GM fitted ignition switches it knew fell short of its own specifications
  • GM hires attorney who handled compensation for 9/11 victims – DetN: General Motors Co. has hired Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney who managed the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and other high-profile issues, to help determine how to compensate families of those injured or killed while driving now-recalled Saturn Ions and Chevrolet Cobalts.
  • GM puts margins before sales by not matching truck discounts – DetN: Chevrolet dealer Gordon Stewart knows what it takes to sell a truck: cash discounts. Yet General Motors Co. won’t increase incentives to match its U.S. rivals.

In other news:

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