Days after Mary Barra’s testimony to Congress in April of 2014, GM announced a new “Speak Up for Safety Program” and Barra stated it was established “to make sure everyone knows how serious we are about speaking up and about safety….to make our vehicles safer, to make our whole company a safer organization, and focused on the customer’s safety.”
Barra declared, “We need to drive cultural change to make sure people are going to go that extra mile in this area.” In September of 2014, speaking to readers of Consumer Reports, Barra declared, “If we identify an issue that could possibly affect your safety, we will act quickly.”
In our investigative report La Mentira, we show that GM and Mary Barra have deceived us about their concerns about safety and continue to sell deadly cars without airbags in Mexico and elsewhere. To say it politely, Barra was a lying sack of potatoes, full of starch.
For the record. here are more details from her fluff, her spin from 2014 before Congress.
• “…if it is a safety issue, there should not be a business case calculated.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “I believe, as we find problems, large or small, we will do the right thing. And if it requires a recall, we will do a recall.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “[cost-benefit] analysis on a safety issue or a safety defect is not acceptable, it is not the way we are going to do business, and that is not the culture—we will make sure that that is not the culture we have going forward” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “If there is a safety issue on the vehicle—and we made sure on these vehicles that they are grounded…” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “once there is a safety issue, it should never have a business case that goes against it in making any part of decisionmaking. And as we go forward now, there isn’t any.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “Where GM has identified safety issues as part of its review, cost has not been a factor in determining whether to conduct a recall.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “if there is a safety issue, if there is a defect identified, we go fix the vehicle, fix the part, fix the system. It is not acceptable to have a cost put on a safety issue.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “…I think we in the past had more of a cost culture, and we are going to a customer culture that focuses on safety and quality.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “If there is a safety defect, the cost is not the issue that we look at. We look at what is going to take the fix the problem and make the vehicle safe.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
• “if we are making a decision on safety, we don’t even look at costs. We make the change.” — GM CEO Mary Barra
Then there is an exchange between U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Mary Barra.
Senator RUBIO: “…what we never want to do is live in a country where companies can decide that, as a business model, we will decide not to make fixes to things despite the fact that they are dangerous because it would cost too much money to fix it. That is a dangerous precedent….will you also look for evidence in that investigation that, in fact, people knew that this was a problem but decided that the costs weren’t worth it? Are you also in search of that, to see if, in fact, there were individuals or a culture in the company created by a group of individuals that encouraged employees to make these sorts of cost-benefit analyses based on economics and not on customer safety?”
Ms. BARRA. “As I have said, that type of analysis on a safety issue or a safety defect is not acceptable, it is not the way we are going to do business, and that is not the culture—we will make sure that that is not the culture we have going forward.”
And then this exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer and Mary Barra.
Senator BOXER. “…do you know if GM ever used this kind of cost-benefit analysis in its history? Do you know?”
Ms. BARRA. “If it was used for a safety item, it would be unacceptable.”