General Motors announced today that CEO Mary Barra will not attend a ceremony on November 17 at which she was scheduled to receive an award from the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM).
On Monday, we asked the museum to rescind the planned award to Barra in light of questions about her “credibility and veracity” in the wake of Sunday’s report that GM ordered 500,000 ignition switches from a supplier almost two months before it reported the safety defect to the government.
Earlier today, our request was seconded by the GM Survivors group. On behalf of 260 family and friends of GM recall delay victims, Laura Christian of Maryland wrote, “While we recognize that Mrs. Barra is the first woman to be named CEO of an American auto company, her first year in this position is only credited with one record so far – a record number of vehicle safety recalls connected to nearly 32 deaths and thousands of injuries.” Christian is the birth mother of Amber Marie Rose, a 16-year-old killed in a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.
Barra’s travel around the country to accept awards has really been unseemly. I hope she will now instead focus on the safety issues before her. Since May, we have repeatedly asked for a recall of SUV’s and light trucks with a brake line corrosion defect, only to be rebuffed by GM.
Even more unseemly has been the acceptance of big bucks from GM by the groups handing out the awards, such as the Detroit Economic Club and the so-called Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
In a statement today, the NWHM took pains to point out that it did not receive financial consideration from GM.