The simplest solution to avert the culture of avoidance or cover-up inside GM regarding their discovery of product defects is for the CEO to establish an independent Ombudsman office, authorized to receive, in total confidence, the assertions of conscientious engineers and other employees about safety defects without fear of retaliation or losing their jobs. The Ombudsman, outside the GM chain of hierarchical command, would report directly to the CEO. The CEO would then have the responsibility to follow up on the report and decide whether it is at a level of gravity to warrant triggering the federal regulation on reporting the discovery to the Department of Transportation. The company may want to introduce a monetary reward for reports by its engineers and other employees to the Ombudsman that could prevent death and injuries and save the company a ton of headaches and expenditures. Giving assembly line workers rewards for proposing more efficient ways to manufacture products has been a long time incentive program by many companies.
For more information contact: Ralph Nader 202-387-8034