Barra noted that five other executives had received some level of disciplinary action over their role in the GM ignition switch recall scandal, which has exposed the automaker to scrutiny from both regulators and Congress. Barra said that “a unique series of mistakes was made” at GM regarding defective ignition switches on some older models. GM officials knew of the problem, which could lead to accidents, but didn’t inform regulators or consumers until recently, USA TODAY notes.
The firing of 15 GM executives comes after an internal report from former U.S. attorney Anton Valukas showed that GM had severely mishandled the GM ignition switch recall. However, the report did not find any indication of a conspiracy inside GM to conceal the defective ignition switches. Instead, the report attributed the GM ignition switch recall scandal to “incompetence and neglect” at the automaker.
Barra has promised to pay compensation to families who suffered injuries or deaths due to accidents tied to the GM ignition switch recall. The company is facing a wave of lawsuits over the defective ignition switches.
So far this year, GM has recalled more than 13 million vehicles.
GM shares fell modestly in Thursday morning trading. On Wednesday, GM stock closed at $36.52 per share.
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