GM engineer claims forgetting about changing ignition switch design

Article by Christian A., on June 3, 2014

General Motors engineer Ray DeGiorgio has told congressional probers the he forgot approving a modification in ignition switch design in 2006 without changing the part number or pressing for a callback, according to a report by The New York Times. DeGiorgio is one of two GM employees who have been suspended with pay since April 10 while the carmaker conducted an internal probe.

A congressional aide told the Times that DeGiorgio appeared "very emotional at times" during questioning and "genuinely upset" that the issue has been tied to at least 13 deaths. On May 19, DeGiorgio told the investigators that he never knew that the issue would make airbags to fail to deploy during in a crash, an incident that GM has said has occurred 47 times so far.

"He came across as if he was just overburdened and just missed it," the staff member was quoted by the newspaper as saying. GM has issued a global recall of 2.6 million cars with faulty ignition switches, which could shift out of the "run" position.

Once that happens, airbags, power steering and power brake assist could fail to operate or deploy. In a deposition in April 2013, DeGiorgio said he did not authorize the modification to the ignition switch.

However, documents GM obtained from Delphi Automotive in October 2013 show that DeGiorgio signed off on a longer spring and detent plunger to render the switch less flimsy, and a new printed circuit board to resolve an electrical issue.

This has prompted several members of the US Congress to say that DeGiorgio lied under oath. GM chief executive Mary Barra acknowledged that the evidence pointed to DeGiorgio lying, but remarked that she was waiting for the results of an internal probe, which could be released as soon as next week.

While DeGiorgio told the congressional probers that he had already forgotten about the modification by the time of the deposition, he failed to tell why he approved it without having GM assign a new part number, which according to Barra is tantamount to a violation of GM protocol and lead to delayed detection of the issue. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

Skoda recently launched the new Karoq compact SUV as a replacement model to its now-defunct Yeti small crossover. Slotted below the newly introduced Skoda Kodiaq, the new Karoq features a...
by - May 23, 2017
There are already rumors suggesting that the next generation BMW 5-Series GT is expected to be joining the 6-Series range. The latest reports instead tell us that that 3-Series GT...
by - May 23, 2017
In 2004, the British marque Rolls-Royce officially entered South Korea with the opening of their showroom located in Seoul before opening their second showroom last September in Busan. Now RR...
by - May 23, 2017
In a game-changing move, Ford has revealed that it will soon produce its first ever all-electric CUV that will be built to be electric from the ground up, and it...
by - May 23, 2017
The wait for the Mustang’s GT-based Super Snake concept to be released is finally over. Shelby had recently collaborated with Ford Performance and Borla to come up with something that...
by - May 23, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries