GM picks former Lehman investigator Valukas to lead recall probe

Anton Valukas, 70, is a former U.S. attorney.

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March 10, 2014 – eleven:54 am ET

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — Common Motors Co. has employed Jenner & Block Chairman Anton Valukas, who served as a U.S. Justice Division-appointed examiner of the downfall of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., to support lead an inner probe of the managing of an ignition-switch failure tied to at least 13 deaths.

The investigation of the flaw that prompted the recall of one.6 million vehicles is getting carried out jointly by a staff led by Valukas and GM’s common counsel, Michael Millikin, the automaker stated in a statement. Attorneys from the law firm King & Spalding are also portion of the group conducting the investigation, GM explained.

The internal business probe is working parallel to a query from the Nationwide Highway Targeted traffic Security Administration on what steps the firm took to investigate engineering considerations and consumer complaints dating from 2004. GM has until April 3 to answer particular concerns in a 27-page order the agency issued March 4.

GM last month mentioned hefty crucial rings or jarring can result in ignition switches on some Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn cars to slip out of place, cutting off power and deactivating air bags. GM has now linked the defect to at least 23 crashes, which includes the 13 deaths.

The car-safety regulator could fine GM as significantly as $ 35 million, which would be the most ever by the U.S., if it finds the automaker didn’t pursue a recall when it knew the cars had been defective. The agency can also seek criminal expenses.

Popularity at stake

GM CEO Mary Barra stated March 4 she would lead senior executives monitoring progress on the recall, which contains Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 modest cars. The company’s track record could be driven by how it responds, she said.

GM “has acted without having hesitation” to tackle the recall in the past handful of weeks, Barra explained in a note on a Net site last week for personnel. “We have considerably a lot more perform ahead of us.”

The first recall on Feb. 13, constrained to 778,562 Cobalts and G5s, was widened less than 2 weeks later to contain a lot more than 800,000 further cars. Individuals cars consist of 2003-2007 Saturn Ions, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs, the 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice and the 2006-2007 Saturn Sky. Other designs impacted are the 2005-06 Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada and the 2007 Opel GT offered in Europe.

GM North America President Alan Batey mentioned in a Feb. 25 statement expanding the recall to the Saturn Ions and other models that the company’s “process employed to examine this phenomenon was not as robust as it ought to have been.” The automaker is preparing a second timeline relevant to the Feb. 25 recall growth.

Valukas, 70, is a former U.S. attorney.

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