The GM Recall Just Got a Little Worse #Cover-Up

Image Courtesy of CBS News

Image Courtesy of CBS News

In January, GM was riding an all-time high, winning both truck and car of the year at the Detroit Auto Show. Politicians and industry leaders were lining up to offer their praise and approval.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Instead of building off of their success, GM is now dealing with questions about their past and a possible cover-up scandal.

This scandal is circulating around a recall of roughly 1.6 million vehicles in February of this year. The recall was performed because of a faulty ignition switch that could shut off the engine and disable safety systems. This malfunction has been linked to 31 frontal end crashes and 13 deaths over the course of the past decade. Now, there have been reports that the businessmen in the upper echelon of GM may have known about this problem 10 years ago and still went on dealing the vehicles.

These rumors have led to an investigation of the company. This week, regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have begun an in-depth examination of the company, starting with a 27 page survey that includes 107 questions about the timeline of events leading to the recall. GM has until April 3rd to finish what is assumed to be a several hundred page report of events.

gm2Addressing what will be done with the report, the NHTSA said in a released statement on their website, “The Special Order is part of the agency’s ongoing investigation into the timeliness of General Motors’ recall of faulty ignition switches to determine whether GM properly followed the legal processes and requirements for reporting recalls… We are a data-driven organization, and we will take whatever action is appropriate based on where our findings lead us.”

Mary Barra, who took over as CEO in January, is already trying to weather the storm with an internal investigation. On Tuesday, she sent a letter to GM employees stating that the company would be taking an “unvarnished” look at how the process was handled.

To handle the public and the swarming media, GM released this statement earlier this week: “We are fully cooperating with NHTSA and we welcome the opportunity to help the agency have a full understanding of the facts. In addition to getting NHTSA the information they need, we are doing what we can now to ensure our customers’ safety and peace of mind. We want our customers to know that today’s GM is committed to fixing this problem in a manner that earns trust.”

For the new GM led by Barra, they have handled this scandal the best that they can. But the question still remains: will the public forgive and forget, chalking this up to corrupt leaders that are no longer around? Only time will tell.

The Geneva Motor Show Facilitates Uninhabited Innovation at This Year’s Show

genevaOriginally held in 1905, the Geneva Motor Show is the premier international auto show. Much of this has to do with the beautiful setting of the show. If you’ve never seen pictures or been there in person, it’s worth checking out. Geneva is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous cities in the entire world, laden with beautiful architecture and paradisiacal weather. Also adding to the locale’s appeal is the fact that Geneva ranks as one of the top ten richest cities in the world with a social scene that is rich with high end culture.

However, there is something else about the city that has led writer Paul Eisenstein to declare it as the perfect place for an auto show. He says, “In a word ‘neutrality’…Other major shows, however hard they try, typically lean a little bit backwards for their local manufacturers, or at least those who dominate the local market, whether Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Detroit, or LA. Not in Geneva, where space and position are not influenced by national identity.”

This national nepotism has certainly played a role in this year’s award season. Back in January, there was a ton of criticism and backlash when the Detroit Auto Show ended up naming two GM vehicles as the car and truck of the year. Of course, it didn’t help that the awards led to a major media whirlwind and public statements of praise from high government officials (people that are criticism magnets).

Refreshingly, these problems have fallen by the wayside at this week’s Geneva Motor Show. Nobody is talking politics and bailouts. Nobody is questioning motives for positive reviews and winning vehicles. Instead, everybody is enjoying the show and focusing on the innovation. Some of this year’s most talked about vehicles include:

porsche911

1. The Porsche 911 RSR- this car has already gained a huge following, reaching near mythic proportions when it finished in both 1st and 2nd place at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

 

 

 

rollsroyce2. The 2015 Rolls Royce Ghost Series II- this larger than life luxury car is equipped with twin turbocharged V-12 engines, which soup up an amazing 565 horsepower. This engine allows it to go from 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds: pretty impressive for a luxury car. Adding to its appeal are the classic stage coach doors.

 

 

 

 

ferrari3. The Ferrari California T- making its official debut at this week’s show, the new stylish Ferrari is already turning heads. This car comes equipped with a canvas roof and carbon fiber rollover bars and clocks in at an astonishing 155 mph.

 

 

 

 

erminiseittosei4. The Ermini Seittosei- this extremely lightweight (only 1500 pounds!) 2 seater is turning heads with its amazing power to weight ratio of 4.7 lb/hp. But don’t expect to see too many of these out on the streets. Reportedly, production will be limited to just 30 cars per year.

 

 

 

 

Lambo5. Lamborghini Huracan- Replacing last year’s all-time high selling Gallardo, the Huracan already has rich folks lining up to order the vehicle (700 have been requested so far). This year’s Lambo has new aluminum and carbon fiber components and can reach 202 mph! It is being priced at $233,000.

 

 

 

vwsubaru6. The Volkswagen Giugiaro Clipper and the Subaru Viziv 2- I am grouping these two cars together because they represent a new alternative door agenda in Geneva. With their vehicle, the Volkswagen has broken form tradition and has a door that opens upward. The Subaru, on the other hand, has a completely wild sliding door design. Very nice and very futuristic!

Chevrolet Has Bounced Back from the Brink- Winning Car and Truck of the Year

The Silverado was named truck of the year

The Silverado was named truck of the year

For the past 20 years, a group of 50 journalists have been gathering to vote for the North American Truck of the Year. Their decision is then presented in January during the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and can be extremely influential.

According to Market Watch, this prestigious award should not be underestimated; “The awards- now in their 21st year- are unique in the United States because instead of being given by a single media outlet they are awarded by a group of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada…These [winners] are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, comfort, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.”

Garnering this award is so important because it usually means a surge in sales and popularity. That’s why GM is extremely happy to sweep both the car and truck of the year awards this year. On Monday, at the NAIAS, GM’s Chevrolet Silverado walked away with the top truck prize, while the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray captured the coveted car prize. GM has now won the truck division 4 times and the car dic=vision an astounding 6 times in 21 years!

The Corvette Stingray won the car of the year. Pretty sexy, right?

The Corvette Stingray won the car of the year. Pretty sexy, right?

GM president Mark Reuss said in reaction to the awards, “To take both the car and truck awards means a lot to the people who worked on it internally…Also, I think practically, it helps to put us on the consideration map from buyers who might not otherwise consider our cars.”

The sweeping victories by GM were not only good for the company, but the entire American auto industry. After all, it was just a few years ago when the American Big 3 looked as good as dead. In order to help celebrate GMs’ victories, vice president Joe Biden even stopped by the NAIAS. Biden went on to say, “We bet on you, and we won…The vehicles on display at the show reflect the sacrifices made during the industry’s restructuring during the recession.” This year marked America’s highest automotive sales since 2007 and has helped to create optimism across the country.

For now, GM is celebrating their victories, but they are ready to continue on in their excellence. And for the sake of America’s well-being, we hope the success continues.