Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Big corporations routinely act in bad faith

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And GM provides a current example. Read this interesting report by Bill Vlasic in the NY Times:

As General Motors faces a number of continuing investigations into its handling of a vehicle safety defect linked to 13 deaths, its legal department has become a focus of a broad internal inquiry into how the company handled the issue, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

Even as G.M. acknowledged that it knew about the defect for more than a decade, it has insisted that work on the ignition problem was limited to a handful of midlevel employees. But a review of internal documents, emails and interviews paint a different picture, showing that high-ranking officials, particularly in G.M.’s legal department, led by the general counsel Michael P. Millikin, acted with increasing urgency in the last 12 months to grapple with the spreading impact of defective ignition switches.

A number of departments in the company stepped up efforts to fix the switches once depositions threatened to ensnare senior officials.

And as the automaker finally began to face up to the issue, G.M. lawyers moved to keep its actions secret from families of crash victims and other outsiders.

G.M. declined to make Mr. Millikin or any other executives available for interviews. Since the recall began, four senior executives have resigned or left the company, including a top engineer, Jim Federico, who avoided being deposed in a lawsuit last summer when G.M. lawyers suddenly settled a case tied to a defective ignition switch.

Despite its agreement on Friday to pay a $35 million penalty imposed by federal regulators, the automaker faces several investigations, including from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, intently focused on whether G.M.’s top officers deliberately ignored the need to fix faulty ignition switches in some of its vehicles.

The toll on management is expected to grow in coming weeks, as a former United States attorney, Anton R. Valukas, concludes an internal investigation that is being closely watched by lawmakers, federal regulators and Justice Department investigators.

Transportation Secretary Anthony R. Foxx said on Friday that G.M.’s unwillingness to share information it had about defective switches with regulators most likely cost lives in accidents.

“Literally, silence can kill,” Mr. Foxx said in a news briefing. . .

Continue reading. And read the entire article to see many instances of bad faith. I’m pleased that I have not purchased a GM car for decades.

Emphasis added. I certainly hope that at least some of these miscreants go to prison.

A long while back a commenter objected to regulations on companies, which (he aid) could be trusted to do the right thing. It seems more that companies can be trusted to act in bad faith and to try to conceal the harm they do to their customers and the public.

Written by Leisureguy

17 May 2014 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Business

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