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Report: GM Monitoring Social Media to Find Potential Safety Problems

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/26/2014 Kelly Pleskot

Since the ignition switch crisis that surfaced earlier this year, General Motors has made some key changes, including hiring a new vehicle safety chief to head off recalls. But now the company is going one step further by recruiting a whole new team of workers to monitor social media sites and automotive chatrooms 24 hours a day to pick out safety complaints from consumers.

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According to GM President Dan Ammann, speaking to Automotive News, the purpose of this new plan is to identity safety problems before they become a crisis. Right now, the company is still staring in the face of multiple lawsuits connected to faulty ignition switches in 2.59 million cars. The problem has been linked to at least 35 deaths.

Along with scouring the Internet for consumer complaints, GM is also trying to identify grievances from dealers to nip potential problems in the bud. Even high-level executives are getting involved, as Amman and CEO Mary Barra are personally calling some customers who have experienced potential safety issues.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze front view© Provided by MotorTrend 2012 Chevrolet Cruze front view

GM employees are now encouraged to alert executives if they find safety problems. A new program called Speak Up For Safety, created by Barra, has already started to pay off. One intern notified the company of an overheating fuel pump problem in his family's car, which led to the recall of 10,000 Cadillac CTS-V and STS-V models in September.

And while GM seems to be making significant progress with its new culture of openness, it is still facing the fallout from its past mistakes. This month, GM made headlines that it placed an order for 500,000 replacement ignition switches nearly two months before notifying the government of the infamous ignition switch defects.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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