Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why Would Any Sane Person Buy A Car From GM?!?

My 2nd car was a Chevy Nova, like the one you see above.[1] It was labeled a Chevy, but it was technically a Toyota Corolla, if you can recall the 80s/90s when this sorta of domestic/foreign arrangement was the norm. And that car was a total piece of sh*t, that broke down as often as it cranked up. It was a hand-me-down from my parents for a job well done in college. I handed that sh*t back and bought myself a Honda as soon as I was financially able to do so on my own.

And now, a really poor segue...

The hits just keep on coming for General Motors. A company that required a federal bailout a few years ago is now embattled in a very different dilemma that may threaten the automaker's future yet again.
General Motors expects to pay between $400 million to $600 million to compensate victims of ifs faulty ignition switch tied to at least 13 deaths.

The families of those killed and people injured in crashes involving the ignition switch can start filing for payments next month.

The problem with the ignition switch can cause the car to shut off while driving, disabling safety features such as air bags, anti-lock brakes and power steering. GM has admitted that its employees knew of the problem a decade before recalling 2.6 million cars earlier this year.

The automaker has been under fire from Congressional, Justice Department and federal safety regulators for the delay and could face criminal charges.

GM (GM) said it set aside $400 million in the second quarter to cover victims' payments. But it said Thursday in its quarterly results that because its compensation program does not have a cap, it might have to pay an additional $200 million in future quarters.

The company also set aside an additional $874 million for the cost of repairing the record 30 million cars it has recalled so far this year. The combined $1.3 billion in reductions once again essentially wiped out the company's profit, leaving it with net income of only $33 million in the quarter.
GM's culture of quieting (and in some cases punishing) whistleblowers directly contributed to the issues with the ignition switch, which is just another example of poor management at the top that's hurt American automakers. It's also why, although other countries have their own auto problems, I won't but buying American anytime soon. Sorry, Detroit.

Question: What was your first car?!? Would you buy a car from GM right now?

[1] You already know about my first car. And my latest. Right?

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