How GM Got Into This Safety Nightmare

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June 18 (Bloomberg) -- Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Bloomberg's Tim Higgins discuss today's testimony by GM CEO Mary Barra about the slow recall of defective ignition switches. They speak with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

Whistleblower references.

Tim higgins of bloomberg news cho the article.

He joins us now from washington, d.c. give us a little background on the story.

It has to do with whistleblowers, but also with a culture at g.m. antone to lucas -- anton the lucas looked into why it took so long to recall the cobalt, more than a decade.

He said that the culture was one of a slow moving -- and it really did not address issues in an expedited fashion.

A lone engineer, according to him, was able to approve a part that did not meet specifications, and then later fix it improperly, and change the part number, essentially hiding the fix.

And that hid the problem down the road for other engineers trying to address it.

During that timeframe, what were other people experiencing?

That is the question.

Cortland kelly, a guy working the bowels of the company on safety issues.

He was responsible for safety issues for the cavalier.

He pointed out issues and felt like he was running into issues for things he said properly address them.

Hang on just a second.

Joining us is the ranking member of the house panel that mary barra testified before today.

Congresswoman, thank you for joining us.

I wonder if you could give us your reaction to mary barra's testimony.

Like many people, i'm concerned about the corporate culture at g.m., where you have a culture of people who tried to sweep everything under the rug.

There was talk of this g.m. nod, where people not when something comes up, or they shrug and say, not my problem.

That is what we see with these engineers.

They have customer complaints and complaints from g.m. employees coming in over the ignition switches switching to neutral while people are driving along, but they do not ring it to -- bring it to anyone's attention.

They call it a customer convenience issue when it shuts off at 65 miles per hour.

Is there anything you would like to see g.m. as a company address that they are not addressing?

This is what i told mary barra today, that they not only need to change the structure at g.m., but the culture.

I have people i'm very close to inside of g.m. who are saying that what is happening now because of what g.m. has been, by targeting lower-level employees, by denying responsibility at the highest levels, that there is a culture of almost paranoia happening over there now.

And it is going to be even worse.

People do not want to come forward because they are afraid they will lose their jobs, too.

Does this mean that the rules surrounding whistleblower status can be changed?

We can certainly look at the rules surrounding whistleblower status.

The other thing to look at is the power of the national highway transportation agency.

Do they have enough power to review these, as well as to levy fines?

We had people in the media raising these issues in 2004 and 2005 as g.m. continue to say this was not a safety problem, but a consumer satisfaction problem.

Which of course, led to g.m. saying, well, what is the cost-benefit analysis of changing this part versus what is a safety risk to people driving when their engines stop?

Congressman, what would you like to see happen not only at g.m., but inside the u.s. government?

Where were regulators?

When he to happen at g.m., i already said.

But also, nhta, they were heavily underfunded.

They were understaffed.

Do they have enough to do an investigation after i told the chairman that i thought they should have more hearings about this.

G.m. was clearly sweeping things under the rug.

The question is, can more power

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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