GM UPDATE | Officials say Delphi has no responsibility for switch failure

The CEOs of both General Motors and Delphi stated before the U.S. Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection that the companies have improved safety protocols.

The goal is to make sure an incident like ignition switch problem that led to deaths and injuries.

General Motors has fired 15 employees, said CEO Mary Barra. Some were fired for misconduct or incompetence, others were for not acting quickly enough.

“Our employees will not forget what led to the ignition switch recall, but they don’t want to be defined by it,” she said.

Rodney O’Neal, CEO of Delphi, said his company has added “robust” safety protocols that will help to prevent future incidents.

Executives from GM also testified that Delphi bares no responsibility for the defective ignition switch built by the company.

Barra said Delphi built the part as it was ordered from GM and as the company who made the order it was GM’s responsibility.

There was no one at Delphi who was made aware of the issue, said Rodney O’Neal, Delphi CEO.

“We didn’t know anything about the issue until February of this year,” he said.

Earlier in the testimony, it was revealed that those who had crashes resulting in injury or death because of the failed ignition will be able to register Aug. 1 for compensation.

Kenneth Feinberg, GM victim compensation adviser, said that the window to register will be open for five months. Damages are uncapped. Those who are approved will be paid whatever the damages were.

“I’m confident that we’ll be able to compensate the innocent victims,” he said.

There only circumstances that will be evaluated regarding compensation will be what happened with the vehicle, Feinberg said. The potential fault of the driver will not be considered.

Cases where the airbag deployed during the crash are not eligible because in these cases the ignition switch is not likely to have failed, he said.

In other testimony, GM has to correct its mistakes, according to General Counsel Michael Millikin.

“Our job is to make sure this never happens again,” he said, while making a statement before the U.S. Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection.

There were issues in the legal department. The attorneys who made those mistakes have been fired, Millikin said.

“We’ve now created a protocol that I have to view any incident that results in death or serious injury,” he said.

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