General Motors Co. has fired several employees after an internal investigation into the recall of a sport-utility vehicle built and sold exclusively in India uncovered violations of company policy, the automaker said.
“We take these matters very seriously and hold our leaders and employees to high standards,” Greg Martin, a GM spokesman at the company’s Detroit headquarters, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “When those standards are not met, we will take the appropriate action to hold employees accountable.”
The fired employees included workers in India and the U.S., GM said without specifying the number involved. The announcement comes as the Indian government opens an investigation into GM’s subsidiary after the unit said employees manipulated emissions tests during the past eight years to comply with requirements, one person familiar with the situation said.
The government is reviewing its systems and investigating GM to see if there were systemic errors, willful negligence or other wrongdoing, Ambuj Sharma, joint secretary at India’s Ministry of Heavy Industry, said today. The report should be completed next month and GM faces the possibility of monetary penalties and production stoppage, Sharma said.
The Economic Times in India earlier reported that GM said in a July 18 letter to the government that an internal investigation uncovered employees manipulating emissions tests for the Chevrolet Tavera SUV. Automotive News reported yesterday that Sam Winegarden, GM’s vice president for global engine engineering, was fired along with about 10 other people.
On July 24, GM announced a recall of the Tavera from 2005 through 2013 to “address emissions and specification issues.” The company at the time said it was “not safety-related.”
The Economic Times described the recall as one of the largest in the country.
GM fell 1.1 percent to $36.67 yesterday in New York. The shares gained 27 percent this year through yesterday, outpacing the 19 percent gain by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.