General Motors is a company whose names holds a certain ring to it. We we hear the words General Motors we are reminded of industry, the working man, America in the early 19th century, smoke stacks, blue and white collars, luxury, speed, and a large, circular sky scraper located in the heart of Detroit with the domineering letters “GM” adorning it’s facade.
GM’s history has been filled many more ups than downs. For over seven decades was the leader in global sales. They have survived two World Wars, industry changes following the OAPEC Oil Crisis, the “invasion” of the Japanese automobile industry into America, Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, and now they’re powering through a series of recalls unlike the company has ever seen.
As of right now, GM has recalled somewhere in the ballpark of 11.2 million vehicles so far in 2014. This past Thursday, May 15, 2014, their most recent recall was announced. Corrosion on the wiring on the taillights could potentially cause the lights to malfunction. Along with this recall there were other problems reported. Low beam headlamp problems in older Corvettes, Hydraulic brake booster problems in 2014 Malibu’s, windshield wiper failure in 13-14 Cadillac CTS’, and a tie-rod defect in a few hundred full-size trucks.
Talk about running through everything with a fine tooth comb. These recalls are due to the fact that GM initially did a recall in the early part of 2014 in regards to an ignition switch problem. Key rings that were weighted too heavily could cause the ignition key to slip backward turning the engine off and disabling the airbag. This resulted in the deaths of 13 people. GM has also been fined $35 million for delaying the recall.
“I want to make it clear to our customers that you are our compass. You are the heart of everything we do and we intend to make this recall as smooth as possible for you so we will not let it ever happen again. We will learn from this and we will be a better company. Thank you for your patience.” – Mary Barra, General Motors CEO, statement on the GM ignition switch recall.
Mary Barra lives and breathes GM. She started working for the company when she was 18 and became CEO on January 15, 2014. It was awfully inconvenient for her to take power right before such a monumental blow would strike, but she has fought through it making statement after statement, testifying before congress, constant press and media coverage, and continuing to recall more vehicles that are deemed unsafe.
To give you an idea of the peaks and valley’s of GM we can take a look at their stock prices. On December 17, 2013, GM was trading at $41.53. As of May 16, 2014, they are down to $34.00. Their low point this year was on April 11 when they hit bottom at $31.93. This was almost a $10 difference in prices per share in only a few short months.
What of all the claims that were filed do to these faulty parts? If the insurance company has you covered financially for damages then you are technically out nothing. But their loss will probably result in a lawsuit with the company issuing the recall. However, these are all specific to each case as they are all different and no two accidents are the same.
What will the future hold for the company? As of right now we can only foresee a continuation of the events that have occurred in the first half of this fiscal year. The potential for another large scale recall is always a possibility, but there is always hope that this is the end of a long and rocky road for consumers and General Motors.