General Motors has submitted a report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration detailing its internal investigation of the company's highly publicized ignition switch recall. Though NHTSA won't share that report with the public until later today, it can probably summed up in nine words from Mary Barra, who told employees this morning: "We failed these customers. We didn't do our job."
According to Detroit News, Barra was speaking at a town hall meeting, broadcast to employees around the globe. Among the other things we know about the 300-page report:
- It was conducted by former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas and represents a summary of his three-month-long investigation into the matter.
- It doesn't suggest that there was a conspiracy among GM employees to hide the ignition switch problem.
- GM's top management remained ignorant of the problem until just before it was revealed to the public.
- However, the report does show a "pattern of incompetence and neglect".
- Some of the most incompetent may have been GM engineers, who, from the very first complaints, wrongly analyzed the source of the problem.
- Fifteen GM employees have been fired (or possibly allowed to resign) for their role in the delayed recall. Among the fifteen are a vice president, a lawyer, and at least one engineer. All were deemed incompetent or guilty of misconduct.
- Five other GM employees have been disciplined.
- GM will establish a fund to compensate those injured and the families of those killed.
Expect many more details to emerge as this story unfolds.