An interview with the former GM engineer behind ignition-switch debacle
Former General Motors engineer Raymond DeGiorgio has finally spoken out to the public about his role in the American automaker’s ongoing ignition-switch debacle. He remains defiant, but takes the blame for designing the original defective and the revised design, which confused investigators for years because it shared the same part number with the original.
General Motors has focused on the alleged incompetence of several of the companies former engineers in its assessment of what went wrong. In an interview with The New York Times, however, DeGiorgio says: “All I can say is that I did my job. I didn’t lie, cheat, or steal. I did my job the best I could.”
Referring to the defective component as the “switch from hell,” DeGiorgio claims that the switch was designed with lighter rotation force to meet the upper management’s demand for the Cobalt to mimic European cars. While he claims to have sought higher approval for a replacement to the poor design, his idea was allegedly shot down by his superiors.
Up until now, DeGiorgio has refused to take part in any interviews since his name become public last spring, after depositions back in April of 2013 from a civil lawsuit against General Motors identified him as the design engineer responsible for the switch. Under oath, DeGiorgio said that he had “absolutely” never known about or authorized the 2006 change to the part.