Jim Federico, General Motor's Executive Director of Global Vehicle Integration, has retired from the automaker after nearly 36 years. He was one of the company's top engineers and was previously responsible for one of GM's investigations into its faulty ignition switches.

His retirement comes amid a major shakeup in GM's global engineering team. The company recently split it into two separate divisions – Global Product Integrity and Global Components and Subsystems. The integrity side focuses on enforcing vehicle standards, and the components side does traditional development. John Calabrese, vice president of global vehicle engineering, also announced his retirement during the change.

According to Automotive News quoting Congressional and legal documents, Federico led an investigation in October 2012 into the ignition switches that were later recalled. His group attempted to learn why the airbags weren't deploying and considered increasing the torque on the switches. He later left that team because of an excessive workload.

Federico also helped engineer a wide variety of GM products, including the Cadillac CTS, Buick Regal, Chevrolet Spark and many more. GM spokesperson Jim Cain told Autoblog that no replacement for him has been named at this time. "Jim plans to take on new engineering and design challenges outside of the auto industry," said the company's official statement on his retirement. Scroll down to read it in full.
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After almost 36 years with General Motors, Jim Federico, Executive Director of Global Vehicle Integration, has decided to retire from the company. Jim plans to take on new engineering and design challenges outside of the auto industry.

As one of GM's leading and accomplished engineers, Jim has played a key role as Chief Engineer and Vehicle Line Executive in a number of our successful vehicles, including the Opel Insignia, Mokka and Adam; Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, Excelle and Encore; Cadillac CTS and XTS and the Chevrolet Spark, Beat, Sonic, Trax, Cruze and Impala. Jim's programs have received multiple awards including Car of the Year winners and Top Safety Picks. Jim has been recognized in leading trade publications for his engineering contributions to some of GM's successful products.

Jim started as a GMI co-op at Chevrolet Rear Axle in Buffalo, NY. Over his GM career, he has held a number of positions in Lansing for Oldsmobile, BOC and LAD, at the proving grounds for CPE, Pontiac with the Truck Product Center, Warren for Cadillac, Germany for Global Mid & Full Size cars, around the world covering Global Mini, Subcompact, Compact and Electric vehicles, then part time in Korea for Global Subcompact before he landed back in Milford for his most recent position as head of Global Vehicle Integration, Proving Grounds and Labs.


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  • 30 Comments
      kuntknife
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why so much hate? This guy *investigated* the issue and *proposed a solution* to the ignition problem. He didn't create the problem. He didn't try and cover up the problem. He did his job as an engineer. There's nothing to suggest he's remotely responsible for the fiasco.
      comintheusa
      • 7 Months Ago
      I can't help but wonder when the next Toyota fiasco comes along if Autoblog will give it the same amount of coverage as they have the GM ignition issue.
        Jerry
        • 7 Months Ago
        @comintheusa
        Do you remember the last Toyota fiasco?
          comintheusa
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jerry
          Yes I do, but just barely. I'd recall them better if there was one or more stories per day here that continue for weeks at a time covering Toyota's many problems , which is the level of coverage Autoblog is devoting to the GM ignition switch issue. But this being Import Autoblog, the chances of that happening are highly unlikely.
      Larry Litmanen
      • 7 Months Ago
      So as of few months ago he was all about work but now he wants to spend more time with his family? We all know what is going on in here, stop the charade. The sooner this vile company goes out of business the better.
      luigi.tony
      • 7 Months Ago
      Duck and RUN
      m_2012
      • 7 Months Ago
      Another golden parachute pulled.
        Car Guy
        • 7 Months Ago
        @m_2012
        "Executive Director" is a mid-upper level management position at GM. He will get a nice retirement payout but certainly not millions like you are insinuating.
          Car Guy
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Car Guy
          There is no proof the guy did anything wrong. I guess guilty until proven innocent is acceptable in your little world.....
          infra
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Car Guy
          Actually, "Director" is more of an influential technical position, not a managerial role. It's possible he had a team of engineers reporting to him, but not a requirement of that title. Directors are responsible for implementing standards & best practices, and corporate programs.
          m_2012
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Car Guy
          which means he will do just fine...especially considering being involved in greed based decision making that resulted in loss of life.
          m_2012
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Car Guy
          36 years in a cushy, well paying job and he is just going to go "take on new engineering and design challenges outside of the auto industry" at the end of his usefulness, I dont think so. It took many people to keep this covered up, so you can be sure he was part of the mess. Don't be silly. GM has already admitted guilt; its all about who was involved now. To say everyone in management wasn't involved is naive.
          axiomatik
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Car Guy
          @m_2012 "especially considering being involved in greed based decision making that resulted in loss of life." You need to work on your reading comprehension skills. He wasn't involved with the design of the ignition, HE WAS IN CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION of the airbag issue. He led the team that found the problem with the ignition.
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      Sure blame it on the engineers!!!! They are the easiest scapegoats. IT's the corporate bean counters that are the blame.
        Larry Litmanen
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Neez
        Accountants? Dude are you crazy? Accountants have no say in what parts company uses, they simply report the COST to the management and management makes the decisions. I am dead serious when i am asking this, do you have a job or have you ever worked in a corporate structure? To even suggest that anyone on the financial side is responsible is laughable, all they do is report figures and facts.......................they do not make the decisions as to should the item be approved or rejected. Dude if you are smart enough you can become a head of accounting department 5 years after college, you think that person will be given the right to say what part is used and what part should not be used?
          Jerry
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          I have to ask if you have worked in the auto industry. Buyers at GM call their own shots and the engineers fall in as advisors during the sourcing process. If the engineers had to buy off on the suppliers, you would never have seen the massive outsourcing and declines in quality in the domestic auto industry that started a few decades ago. It does sound like there was an engineering cover-up in this ignition switch fiasco, though. Maybe to hit program timing targets, bad metrics, etc.? Generally speaking, the bean counters are who have destroyed the domestic auto industry and the US economy. They are not victims or scapegoats.
          Neez
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          Larry I'm an engineer, and i'm not always allowed to pick out the parts that i want. Sometimes i have to work with a part and the supplier to resolve quality issues, instead of choosing the supplier and part i want. They aren't always resolved to my satisfaction. Ultimately, it's "PURCHASING's" decision. We have an entire group of people where all they do is crunch numbers, work bulk ordering deals, set up a supply chain etc.... These are the bean counters i'm referring to. They count every little bean, even if they can save 2 cents per part, they'll try and save it.
          Larry Litmanen
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          @ m_2012 Again, accountants do not make that call. They simply provide the data, management or engineers makes the call which part to use. You ask for information and we give it to you, MANAGEMENT and ENGINEERS make the call. This is basic corporate structure. Dude i am an accountant, i am telling you that we don't have the power to make such important decisions, we simply don't have the qualifications. We can tell you the cost of something but we don't know if this will sell or not sell or if it have quality issues.
          m_2012
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          Thats the problem - GM let the beancounters dictate the part usage based on cost alone. The decision to use the cheaper switch went against engineering's recommendation and was solely based on price alone, even knowing the defect with the slightly more expensive switch.
          m_2012
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          but again...engineers said NOT to use the cheaper, non-spec meeting part and accounting (whichever level you want to include) made the decision to only approve the less expensive part. This was a numbers problem, not an engineering problem. They would not write a check for anymore than 'X' dollars, no matter what the engineering said. Is it the everyday accountant problem? No. I get your point how accounting works in the rest of the industry. That is exactly the problem, GM broke convention to save a few bucks, purposefully. They are just now getting burned for it. Same reasoning they did not change the part number - to cover up not doing the right thing. They had procedures in place to change part numbers like they have on MILLIONS of other parts, yet they just happened to 'miss' this one.
          Larry Litmanen
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          @ m_2012 Again, accountants do not make that call. They simply provide the data, management or engineers makes the call which part to use. You ask for information and we give it to you, MANAGEMENT and ENGINEERS make the call. This is basic corporate structure. Dude i am an accountant, i am telling you that we don't have the power to make such important decisions, we simply don't have the qualifications. We can tell you the cost of something but we don't know if this will sell or not sell or if it have quality issues.
      carboy55
      • 7 Months Ago
      What a shameful charade. If this were a foreign-owned company these GM apologists in the comments section would be breaking out the torches and pitchforks.
      Firefly
      • 7 Months Ago
      Designers offer a vision Engineers create that vision Testers confirm that vision Accountants make revisions Dealerships have tunnel vision Consumer is blinded...
      redgpgtp97
      • 7 Months Ago
      Just one word. Hmmm!
      redgpgtp97
      • 7 Months Ago
      Just one word. Hmmm!
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