Correspondent, Detroit
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Mar 11, 2014

GM hires law firms it works with to probe recall response

DETROIT, March 10 (Reuters) – General Motors Co on
Monday said it had hired two outside law firms to probe the
company’s response to ignition-switch problems on cars that have
been linked to 13 deaths, but both firms have done business with
GM, raising questions of conflict of interest.

The review will be led by Jenner & Block chairman Anton
“Tony” Valukas, who won wide regard for investigating Lehman
Brothers after the financial services firm collapsed in 2008.
His report alleged that the firm used accounting gimmicks and
had been insolvent for weeks before it filed for bankruptcy.

Mar 10, 2014

GM ignition-switch recall poses first big test for new CEO

DETROIT (Reuters) – In her first big test as General Motors Co’s chief executive, Mary Barra has taken a hands-on approach behind the scenes in directing the automaker’s response to ignition-switch problems that have been linked to 13 deaths.

On Monday, GM said the team conducting an internal probe ordered up by Barra of the recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles is being led by the lawyer who investigated Lehman Brothers after the financial services firm collapsed in 2008.

Mar 10, 2014

GM recall probe team led by Lehman investigator

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Monday that the team conducting a probe of the company’s ignition-switch recall linked to 13 deaths is being led by the lawyer who investigated Lehman Brothers after the financial services firm collapsed in 2008.

Anton “Tony” Valukas is chairman of the law firm Jenner & Block, whose attorneys are helping with the investigation of last month’s recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles. Valukas could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mar 7, 2014

GM must address recall soon to avoid damage to reputation

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) needs to get through its ignition-switch recall and the resulting federal investigation quickly to avoid any lasting damage to its brand, but the federal probe could keep the problem in the public eye for at least six months.

Analysts and academics warn that a misstep by GM could leave it with a lingering headache, something Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) experienced from 2009 to 2011 with recalls linked to sudden acceleration. The Japanese automaker was criticized for being slow to react to complaints and initially blaming the drivers.

Mar 6, 2014

Exclusive: GM ratchets up truck discounts as U.S. sales skid

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) ratcheted up discounts in February on its full-size pickups, but it is telling Wall Street analysts that it intends to maintain premium pricing and margins on the trucks despite a drop in volume and market share.

On Tuesday, Chuck Stevens, GM’s new chief financial officer and a key member of CEO Mary Barra’s executive team, was dispatched to New York to update Wall Street analysts on the automaker’s financial outlook, including the performance of its big trucks.

Mar 5, 2014
Mar 5, 2014
Mar 5, 2014

GM questioning employees in ignition-switch recall probe: sources

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is moving to learn more internally about its handling of the recall of ignition switches linked to 13 deaths, including questioning employees involved in the process from the start, according to two people familiar with the situation.

A team of attorneys investigating the No. 1 U.S. automaker’s recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles were interviewing employees on Wednesday, trying to learn exactly how the company handled the issue when it was first discovered in 2004, said the people, who asked not to be identified.

Mar 4, 2014

GM CEO said ignition-switch recall will take time to play out

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Mary Barra said the No. 1 U.S. automaker was sorry for the recent recall of an ignition-switch linked to 13 deaths, and said the process would take time to play out but the company would work to ensure customer satisfaction.

In a letter to employees on Tuesday, Barra, who took over in January as the automotive industry’s first female chief executive, said the recall would “take time to play out” and GM would cooperate with all the parties involved. She said customer safety and satisfaction would be at the heart of every decision made.

Mar 3, 2014

U.S. auto sales flat, incentives could hit profit

DETROIT, March 3 (Reuters) – U.S. auto sales in February
finished even with the year-earlier period as hefty incentives
to lure customers into dealerships late in the month could not
overcome cold and snowy weather.

February’s sales fell less than 300 vehicles from last
year’s 1,193,872 light cars and trucks. While General Motors Co
, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler Group all reported
stronger-than-expected sales, the higher incentives raised
concerns about industry profitability in the future.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Klayman is based in Detroit and in April was named leader of the global automotive team for Reuters. Previously, Ben covered the business of sports as well as consumer and retail for three years and led the manufacturing/housing team for four years. He also covered the telecommunications sector for three years. He joined Reuters in Detroit in 1998 to cover autos. Prior to joining Reuters, he worked at a series of daily newspapers in Ohio and Maryland. Ben graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in English literature."
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