Primary File Info
General Motors: The ignition switch from hell
Isaac Wanasika, Suzanne L. Conner
November 1, 2018
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
leadership, organizational culture, Decision-Making, CSR, ethics
Journal of Case Studies
On September 16, 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that General Motors (GM) and US federal prosecutors had reached a criminal settlement in a case involving GM’s handling of an ignition-switch defect that had led to the recall of millions of vehicles and was linked to more than 100 deaths. According to the settlement, GM would forfeit $900 million to the federal government and admit to charges of wire fraud and concealing information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as the public regarding safety defects in ignition switches that had been designed and manufactured with too-low torque. This case describes events and decisions spanning a ten-year period that may have led to defective ignition switches and resultant deaths.