'You Stay in Your Box and You Do Your Job' Reports Former G.M. Executive

GM-engineer-faulty-switches.jpg

Bill Vlasic's report for the New York Times tells the story of a once-unknown midlevel engineer turned brunt of G.M.'s finger pointing and blame. Thousands of small G.M. vehicles are equipped with defective switches. These switches can easily be bumped by a driver's knee into off mode while in transit, thereby shutting off the airbags at the worst possible time.

'Worst Safety Crisis'

As Vlasic writes, the switches - or more accurately the way G.M. went about addressing the switches, which appears to have meant doing nothing at all - are responsible for "the worst safety crisis in [the company's] history."

See Vlasic's report, "A Fatally Flawed Switch, and a Burdened G.M. Engineer," which offers this hint (among a few others) as to what caused the safety crisis - a crisis that has led to the deaths of many people.

Cube City

An anonymous former G.M. executive says that in "cube city," as he calls it, you are to "stay in your box and you do your job." This helps to explain why the now very well known G.M. engineer - who G.M. and the public at large largely blames, for he was the one who initially approved the defective switches - wasn't able, though he seems to have tried, to fix the problem.

(image source: https://flic.kr/p/joXBeB)
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