New documents have revealed that a current General Motors vice president, Doug Parks, was aware of the ignition switch problems on the Chevrolet Cobalt as early as 2005. At the time, Parks, whom Bloomberg called a "confidante" of CEO Mary Barra and an integral part of GM's product development team, was the chief engineer on the Cobalt and Saturn Ion. Congressional investigators uncovered the documents, which include an email from Parks and meeting attendance lists for the ignition switch problems.

This new evidence sheds some doubt on GM's own internal investigation, which found that none of the company's current executives knew of the ignition switch problems on the Cobalt and Ion. This news is also curious, following GM's large-scale dismissal of employees found to be responsible for the problem, such as Ray DeGiorgio.

"As Ms. Barra has said repeatedly we have taken all of the personnel actions that we feel are appropriate at this time," GM spokesman Greg Martin told Bloomberg via email.

More troubling, though, is what this revelation could do to GM's legal proceedings. The discovery of Parks' knowledge of the issue could cause potentially serious damage to GM's bankruptcy argument, in which it claims that "New GM" isn't responsible for the actions of "Old GM." According to Consumerist, lawyers could now argue that the lack of a recall, particularly when a former chief engineer and current vice president knew of the issue, could lend credence to arguments that the company was attempting to cover up the problem.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      Clipper44
      • 5 Months Ago
      Doug Parks and every other GM leader need to be charged with negligent manslaughter.
      xspeedy
      • 5 Months Ago
      Barra needs to step down herself. This whole thing is a sham.
        bombsquasher
        • 5 Months Ago
        @xspeedy
        I feel sorry for her. She invested decades with GM and when she climbed to that position, she got a a sh!t sandwich. Additionally, she may have been working on other projects and unaware of the problem.
          • 5 Months Ago
          @bombsquasher
          [blocked]
          Larry Litmanen
          • 5 Months Ago
          @bombsquasher
          Autoblog just summarized what this discovery means, they did not go into details. When it was discovered that this Parks guy knew of everything all along (there are emails where he communicates about the ignition). After that Barra was asked if GM was planning to fire anyone else and she said NO. At the time she already knew that Feds discovered Parks but her stance...............i am not firing this guy.
        clquake
        • 5 Months Ago
        @xspeedy
        And yet, the previous GM's should be free to enjoy their "success"?
      Jim R
      • 5 Months Ago
      You know it's been said you'll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, and GM apparently took that lesson to heart. It's been 40+ years since they made anything worth owning and they've made great success out of duping the public into buying their crap. GM should've been left to FAIL and be relegated to the history books--or better yet, the business administration texts, as an example of how NOT to run a company.
        cruzer
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jim R
        Are you drunk??? U sound insane if not.
          Gearhead
          • 5 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          Jim seems pretty sober to me. You sound like a dope or a GM employee.
          Roger Smith
          • 5 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          Like you are?,and then your name?,Idiot,hope this company die soon or move the rest to the country they love....China!
        cruzer
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jim R
        It's been 40 years since GM has made something worth buying? You'd have to have something wrong with u or be drunk to say that. I guess sometimes people are just idiots though. People like u are scary.
          cruzer
          • 5 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          And what line of cars is that? I'd love to know. Probably some foreign branded crap. Btw it's a CHEVY CRUZE. I drive American.
          Jeff Gilleran
          • 5 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          No such thing as an American car.
          • 5 Months Ago
          @cruzer
          [blocked]
      Roger Smith
      • 5 Months Ago
      They can't build cars for more than 30 years,got other companies to do there job and them kill the partners,the sad part is they get our money,paid big to upper management,send some to Korea,China and Thailand and just put more flair in USA cars,meaning no effort to build a better one at all,Why people buy them?,search the net before you make another mistake and remember advertising is paid for them in some websites too so is obvious some recommend GM or don't get paid for it. Mazda,Toyota,Honda,Ford,Kia,Nissan and more are building cars for years,they are better weld,better build than any Chevy,Oldsmobile,Buick,Cadillac,LeSalle and bunch of made in china GM conglomerate junk cars
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Roger Smith
        [blocked]
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Roger Smith
        If you can't communicate in English, which you obviously are not capable of, go away!! And take your ludicrous, moronic and frankly STUPID comments with no basis in reality, at least on this planet with you!! We have CAR ENTHUSIASTS here - not some drunken hillbilly from Slovenia who doesn't know his anus from his ankle!!
        Alfonso T. Alvarez
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Roger Smith
        You're drunk - go home!!
      WindsWilling
      • 5 Months Ago
      GM once again being shady and trying to cover up things. Guess they didn't get enough bribes out there. What an awful company. I wouldn't want to see them scuttled, but I would like to see someone else more responsible, more consumer aware, more innovative take the reigns and lead this company somewhere positive with all the assets they do posses. It's a shame you can't trust this company one bit with anything. You can't even trust them to deliver and would have to worry about any car you drive, including those like the new Vette and upcoming Z06. All these execs, all, once tied in any fashion deserve jail time.
      NAIF S
      • 5 Months Ago
      I do not want to see GM fold up. BUT, you cannot trust them.
      Tariff The Imports
      • 5 Months Ago
      Proof this shyster company lied during bankruptcy and we have many here still oblivious to the fact and continue to support this disgraceful company. Not sure what's more disturbing. GM lying or ones making excuses and continuing to support these liars.
      fran
      • 5 Months Ago
      This just keeps getting better and better.
      ffelix422
      • 5 Months Ago
      It would seem all GM Sr. leadership is guilty at some level. They've all been in their current/or next lower level position for at least 5+ years. None of them were so far removed from knowing about these issues.
      ffelix422
      • 5 Months Ago
      GM is SH!T for allowing this to get out of control and to this level. I'm curious as to why when anyone says this they get "thumbs-down". To the people who thumbs down, what do you know different?
      Brodz
      • 5 Months Ago
      The greedy dogs need the book thrown at them, and they need to be put up on criminal charges.
      TruthHertz
      • 5 Months Ago
      This may not be a popular opinion, but anyone stupid enough to buy a Saturn Ion or Chevy Colbalt when so many other superior options were available for the same or less money is a perfect example of social Darwinism. Those who didn't do their homework are now suffering. A car is the second biggest purchase people make. To not do your homework on a vehicle that protect your life with something as powerful as the internet available at your fingertips is inexcusable. Half of you guys love to criticize the Koreans for fuel economy and other issues, but how many times have they covered up recalls that KILLED people. That's the job of Toyota and GM.
        waetherman
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        It's called a cover-up for a reason; the information about deadly engineering flaws was withheld from the public. I personally don't think it should be legal to sell deadly cars even with a disclaimer, but in this case these cars didn't even have that. How can a consumer do their "homework" when data is withheld?
    • Load More Comments