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Two GM engineers placed on paid leave as part of ignition switch probe


DETROIT--April 10, 2014: General Motors is creating a Speak Up for Safety program to recognize employees for ideas that make vehicles safer, and for speaking up when they see something that could impact customer safety, CEO Mary Barra said today.

“GM must embrace a culture where safety and quality come first,” Barra said. “GM employees should raise safety concerns quickly and forcefully, and be recognized for doing so.”

Barra spoke at an employee town hall meeting on Thursday, announcing the internal Speak Up for Safety campaign. The campaign is intended to remove perceived and real barriers to candid conversations between employees and their leaders as a step to foster a “safety first” culture.

Reporting issues only matters if there is follow-up — and Barra said the Global Vehicle Safety Group will be accountable to take action or close issues within a prescribed time period.

“We will recognize employees who discover and report safety issues to fix problems that could have been found earlier and identify ways to make vehicles safer,” she said. Details will be announced in the next 30 days.

Separately, Barra confirmed two GM engineers have been placed on paid leave following a briefing from Anton Valukas, the former U.S. attorney overseeing an independent investigation into circumstances leading to a safety recall of 2.6 million older GM cars for ignition defects.

“This is an interim step as we seek the truth about what happened,” Barra said. “It was a difficult decision, but I believe it is best for GM.”