GM: Doing the Right Thing, Eventually


There are lemon cars and then there are lemon companies. General Motors (GM) comes to mind when I think of corporations that don’t’ deliver what is expected of them.

A disclaimer: I bought a 1993 Suburban new from a dealer—this gas guzzler sprouted a cracked cylinder head a few miles after the new car warrantee expired.  I had to buy a refurbished engine for $4,000. Clearly, I didn’t expect this poor outcome.

Every vehicle manufacturer issues recalls, although GM apparently kept its problems quiet until 12 deaths smoked the executives out of their corporate cocoon.  Now, GM has recalled 3.3 million vehicles for problems that could lead to more deaths (faulty ignition, airbag and brake systems). One hand clapping for this decision to do the right thing.

Yesterday, GM named a new safety czar who told reporters, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers in the vehicles they drive.” This is a statement for the ages and is on the level of a job applicant who tells the interviewer that, among other things, he is “ honest.”

I am writing and posting this little rant from the waiting area of a Toyota dealership where my Prius is undergoing safety recall work for a software issue connected to the ignition. Recalls are a part of life and, unfortunately in GM’s case, so is corporate stupidity, greed and malfeasance.

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