Former GM Ignition Switch Engineer Speaks OutNovember 17, 2014
The former GM ignition switch engineer who oversaw the installation of the faulty switch in millions of vehicles was quoted in a recent New York Times article. In his first public comments since the massive recall, Ray DeGiorgio claimed that he “did (his) job the best (he) could” as a GM ignition switch engineer. The defective switches installed under Mr. DeGiorgio’s watch have been tied to more than 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
CEO Fires GM Ignition Switch Engineer
General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra fired Mr. DeGiorgio and 14 other employees earlier this year after an internal investigation revealed their parts in the cover-up of the defective switch. The GM ignition switch engineer was cited by Ms. Barra as a part of a “pattern of misconduct and incompetence” that led to the massive recall. The investigation placed much of the blame on Mr. DeGiorgio and his fellow GM ignition switch engineers for approving the installation of the faulty switch.
GM Ignition Switch Engineer Ignored Faulty Switch?
The investigation report claims that the GM ignition switch engineers knew about problems with the part as far back as 2002, but did not reveal the issue to GM management. The GM ignition switch engineers reportedly had knowledge that the switch would move from the “ON” to the “ACC” position, causing the vehicle to lose power. Later reports cited that the switch would move if the assembly was jostled, if the vehicle went over a bumpy road, or if the driver attached a weighted key chain or key fob to the ignition key.
GM Ignition Switch Engineer Claims “I Did My Job”
The internal report also stated that the GM ignition switch engineer and his colleagues had secretly authorized alterations to the switch in 2006, but did not change the part number. Former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas, the lead investigator on the problem, wrote that the “deliberate decision not to change the part number” by Mr. DeGiorgio and the other GM ignition switch engineers kept investigators from finding out about the defective switch for several years. In response to the accusations in the Valukas report, Mr. DeGiorgio told the Times, “All I can say is that I did my job. I didn’t lie, cheat, or steal. I did my job the best I could.”
“Switch From Hell” Affects GM Ignition Switch Engineers
The Times article stated that Mr. DeGiorgio selected a switch design that met the company management’s demands for European-style components. The switch would require less torque to turn, making the ignition process easier. In a 2002 email, Mr. DeGiorgio referred to the faulty part as a “switch from hell”. In another email to GM ignition switch engineers, he called the failure rate of the ignition switch “significant” and that parts manufacturer Delphi Automotive “promised modified switches.”
Source: Automotive News
Know Your Rights in a GM Ignition Switch Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with a GM ignition switch lawsuit, contact us today at 877-892-2797. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to a GM ignition switch lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.