DETROIT, March 18 (UPI) -- As GM faces intense scrutiny over safety issues plaguing its vehicles, the company Tuesday named Jeff Boyer to the newly created position of vice president of global vehicle safety.
General Motors chief executive Mary Barra made the appointment following the recall of 1.6 million vehicles last month due to a faulty ignition switch that the company says led to 31 accidents and 12 deaths. The recall is at the center of a Congressional, NHTSA and criminal investigation. To compound the company's problems GM announced a new recall Tuesday, affecting 1.5 million vehicles.
“This new role elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader so we can set a new standard for customer safety with more rigorous accountability,” Barra said. “If there are any obstacles in his way, Jeff has the authority to clear them. If he needs additional resources, he will get them.”
Boyer, who was executive director of engineering operations and systems development, will report directly to John Calabrese, the vice president of global vehicle engineering, but will also provide Barra with "regular and frequent" reports on vehicle safety.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers in the vehicles they drive,” Boyer said.
GM seems to be following Toyota's example, after the latter recalled more than 5 million vehicles in 2009 and 2010, to make alterations to floor mats that could slip and get trapped below the accelerator pedal and, in a separate recall, to fix sticky accelerator pedals. Toyota at the time instated a new quality chief for North America and an outside panel to investigate ways to prevent such problems in the future.
[Market Watch] [New York Times]