General Motors has let go of Sam Winegarden, its vice president for global engine engineering, due to irregularities in its emission-testing programs in India that have forced the carmaker to stop sales of two popular models, sources told Automotive News, adding that around 10 other GM Powertrain employees in the United States and India were ousted from the carmaker.
The departures came as GM disclosed the recall of around 114,000 Chevrolet Tavera utility vehicles in India to resolve emission and specification issues. Indian reports said that GM admitted to government officials that those employees deliberately doctored emission inspections to meet standards.
GM confirmed in a statement to Automotive News that it has "dismissed several employees" over "violations of company policy" related to the Indian recall. GM said in the statement that they “take these matters very seriously” and hold their leaders and employees to high standards.
GM added that when those standards are not met, they “will take the appropriate action to hold employees accountable." Winegarden had been vice president for global engine engineering at GM since 2004. He had overseen the development and production of engines at the carmaker.
Winegarden joined the carmaker in 1969 as a co-op student at the Buick Motor Division while attending General Motors Institute. He was chief engineer for the Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Group in the early 1990s, overseeing the Northstar V-8 and premium V-6 engine lines. GM’s recall of the Tavera covers 2.5-liter and 2.0-liter models built between 2005 and 2013. GM builds and sells the Tavera only in India.