Essay on Ethical Analysis of General Motors Ignition Switch Scandal

1522 Words 7 Pages
Organization Review
General Motors was founded by William Durant on September 16, 1908. At its inception, GM owned only the Buick Motor Company, but acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Pontiac within ten years of its formation. Demand for automobiles heightened between 1910-1929, allowing General Motors to set the standard for production, design and marketing innovation. GM diversified their selection and opened more than a dozen new plants outside of the United States. In 1927, the head of GM's design studio, Harley Earl, designed the LaSalle which marked the beginning of true automotive design as it was far less boxy than the Ford Model T. "In 1940, former GM President William Knudesen was chosen by President Roosevelt as Chairman
…show more content…
General Motors has defined their organizational culture as "Design, Build and Sell the World's Best Vehicles". In the design portion of this definition, GM focuses on core brands in order to become a leader in research and development. In the build portion of this definition, GM strives to operate in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. In the sell portion of this definition, GM strives to maximize revenues, offer customers high residual value, and lower incentives. GM's mission statement reads, "General Motors is a multinational corporation engaged in socially responsible operations, worldwide. It is dedicated to provide products and services of such quality that our customers will receive superior value while our employees and business partners will share in our success and our stock-holders will receive a sustained superior return on their investment." This mission cannot be more ironic.
Problem or Opportunity
In the year 2000, the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act was passed, putting pressure on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to gather data from parts manufacturers to identify "potential safety related defects." In 2001, an internal GM report identifies a problem between the ignition switch and the vehicle's anti-theft system. While the company had the opportunity to disclose this information to the public, they instead opted for a quiet re-design…

More about Essay on Ethical Analysis of General Motors Ignition Switch Scandal