Senior Editor Greg Migliore recaps the week in automotive news, including a look at the Faraday Future ground-breaking in Nevada, and the General Motor's seatbelt recall.
Michael Mikkikin, the general council for General Motors, announced his retirement from the automaker last year. However, he now might not leave until July, while the company searches for a successor.
In a commentary piece in Fortune, writer Ben Geier nominates General Motors CEO Mary Barra as his Crisis Manager of the Year for the way she has handled internal issues and an 11-month recall barrage that has so far ensnared 30 million cars worldwide.
General Motors has announced a recall covering 316,357 vehicles globally, due to the possibility of sporadic or permanent failure of the low-beam headlamps. 273,182 of these vehicles are in the United States, while the remaining affected units are in Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere.
General Motors is facing even more legal trouble after recalling roughly 26.6 million vehicles in the US this year. The latest case comes from the Arizona Attorney General and alleges that GM executives knew about the problems with its models but avoided disclosing them to the public. At its maximum, the suit could force the automaker to pay $3 billion.
It appears that General Motors began preparing for its ignition switch recall far earlier than previously known. According to emails viewed by The Wall Street Journal, a contract worker for the automaker allegedly placed an order for 500,000 replacement ignition switches from Delphi to prepare for the repairs on December 18, 2013. However, the actual recall for the parts wasn't announced until two months later in February 2014, and it had to be expanded several times afterwards to cover an incre
Eight months later, nearly half of all vehicles recalled by General Motors for faulty ignition switches have yet to be fixed.
With nearly 1,600 claims in the General Motors faulty ignition switch compensation fund as of Friday, The Detroit News is reporting the company has so far approved 30 out of 193 death claims and 31 out of 184 injury claims. In all, the total claims at the end of last week were up four percent, while the approved death and injury claims have jumped up from 29 and 27, respectively. The remaining 1,286 claims are for less-serious injuries, a figure that is up to 1,240 from the previous week.
General Motors has issued a stop-sale to dealers and has notified the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration of its intention to recall 117,000 vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Of those vehicles, only 4,500 are at dealerships.
It appears that the safety problems stemming from General Motors' faulty ignition switches may stretch further than the automaker as admitted to. In a new interview with CNN Money, Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing the settlement process for GM, says that there are at least 19 deaths and 12 injuries being compensated so far. That's more than the 13 fatalities originally claimed by the automaker.
This has been a bad year for recalls. The US auto industry broke the record for repair campaigns months ago, and with about 25.8 million vehicles needing fixed, General Motors has gotten close to 2013's total full-year figure of 27.96-million recalled cars all on its own. You might think that used car buyers would run screaming for the hills from all these faulty models, but a recent study finds the exact opposite to be true. In fact, one of The General's vehicles actually gained value slightly,