INDIA: GM sacks 35 executives after emissions scandal
An internal investigation into General Motors India's controversial Chevrolet Tavera multi-utility vehicle (MUV) recall has led to an additional 30-35 key executives at their Indian operations being asked to leave, after the exit of senior R&D officials at the US headquarters last week, a local report said.
The Economic Times said it had learned GM India had axed "several dozen" officials at its two plants in Talegaon, Maharashtra, and Halol, Gujarat, and its corporate office in the national capital region who had worked in various quality, engineering and operations functions.
A GM India spokesman told ET: "As per company policy, we do not comment on internal personnel matters."
ET said it had seen a letter in which, last month, GM India admitted to the government that its internal probe had revealed the company violated testing standards and its employees refitted already approved engines in new Tavera models sent for inspection, in an attempt to meet the specified emission rules.
GM also reportedly acknowledged that the weight of several of its models was manipulated to comply with less stringent emission rules. The company had suspended production and sales of two Tavera variants after it 'discovered' compliance failures and recalled over 114,000 units sold since 2005.
ET said the government had formed a committee under the ministry of heavy industry with a mandate to investigate aspects of the scandal with findings likely to be released in the next few weeks.
GM US spokesman Greg Martin had told ET last week, "General Motors' investigation into our recall of the Chevrolet Tavera, which is built and sold exclusively in India, identified violations of company policy. GM subsequently dismissed several employees. We take these matters very seriously and hold our leaders and employees to high standards. When those standards are not met, we will take the appropriate action to hold employees accountable."
The company is in the process of obtaining type approval for the re-engineered Tavera from the testing agency and wants to resume sales as soon as possible.