The GM report: Despicable behavior
So this is what American taxpayers saved when they bailed out General Motors and lost more than $11 billion in the process: a company whose default position was “incompetence” and “neglect” and whose culture fostered a climate of nod-nod, wink-winkism and lying by omission.
Once, what was good for GM was good for America. But what was good for GM in this case killed Americans.
A damning report, commissioned by GM and written by former U.S. Attorney Anton R. Valukus, concludes that the automaker did just about everything wrong that could be done wrong to avoid a recall as evidence mounted that faulty ignition switches on some vehicles led to either 13 fatal crashes (as GM still claims) or three score (as circling lawyers contend).
And while GM claims the report found no “conspiracy or cover-up” among top company officials, the language in the report clearly shows such behavior — manifested through indifference and silence for more than a decade — among not-so-junior underlings, 15 of whom have been fired. Five others were disciplined.
“Although everyone had responsibility to fix the problem, nobody took responsibility,” Mr. Valukus concluded. And that's the kind of behavior incubated at the very top.
Whether GM can survive the report's conclusions and its own tardy admissions now is a serious question. But taxpayers, burned first in a rigged bankruptcy and burned for a second time in this scandal, shall not be burned thrice.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Saving RadioShack: Innovation vs. focus
- A chilly reception
- The truth about the VA: Rank dereliction of duty
- Sunday pops
- The Scottish vote: Defeat as victory