The company is trying to reverse a culture without a priority on reporting flaws with vehicles. "We have to identify issues before they become a problem. We will get past this, but we can't forget the most important thing we've learned," said GM President Dan Ammann in an interview about the new focus published by Automotive News.
The automaker reportedly has a team of social media managers and customer service personnel roving the Internet on sites like Twitter to find people with quality concerns about their models. In addition to looking online, GM is paying closer attention to dealer complaints, and the Speak Up for Safety program gets workers involved in spotting problems with vehicles.
The strategy is already paying dividends for GM. Ammann told AN that he and Barra even called some customers for their opinions on the company's vehicles. Keeping an eye on Twitter led to the Chevy Colorado being advertising for its "Technology and stuff" after the World Series, and under the Speak Up program, an intern found the fuel pump problem that led to a 10,000-vehicle recall of the CTS-V and STS-V.
GM isn't the only one keeping an eye online. Chrysler Group spokesperson Eric Mayne confirmed to Autoblog that his employer does, too. "We monitor a range of social media," he said, including sites like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, as well. The company isn't just looking for quality or safety info, and depending on which department could use the details most, it gets passed there. Toyota does something similar through its Social Media Command Center, according to spokesperson Cindy Knight.