The firing of 15 General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) employees on Thursday did nothing to satisfy Terri DiBattista, whose 16-year-old adopted daughter, Amber Rose, was one of 13 people whose deaths have been attributed to faulty ignition switches on Chevy Cobalts and Saturn Ions that led to a massive recall of the models.
“I think they need to hurt and the only place they need to hurt is in their bottom line,” DiBattista told International Business Times in a phone interview. “As far as today went, nothing surprises me.”
The firings, including suspended engineer Ray DeGiorgio, are too little, too late, DiBattista said. “I still have no credibility for GM.”
GM announced the firings, which included mid-level executives, on Thursday after receiving the findings of an investigation headed by former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas. GM CEO Marry Barra said that the the conclusions of the probe were “extremely thorough, brutally tough, and deeply troubling.”
The company didn’t include a list of all the names of those fired, but USA Today reported that DeGiorgio was among those let go. DiBattista said she believed DeGiorgio, who designed the ignition switch, should have been terminated sooner.
“As far as I’m concerned, he should’ve been fired from day one,” DiBattista said, adding that she was skeptical that only 15 employees, who, in GM’s words, “acted inappropriately,” were the only ones involved.
“We’ll probably never know how far up it really went,” DiBattista said. “Anybody that was associated with the approval of the ignition switch being changed and not renumbered should go,” as well as anyone who didn’t notify GM higher-ups of the flaw, she said.
In making the announcement, GM also didn’t expand the list of 13 people that it said died due to the ignition switch flaw, a move DiBattista called “outrageous.” She pointed to the death of Brooke Melton, cited by CNN, whose accident led to the public learning about the ignition switch flaw, as one of those who should have been added.
“How many [other] Brooke Meltons are there out there?” DiBattista asked.
DiBattista relocated to South Carolina from Maryland after her daughter’s fatal crash in July 2005 in an effort to move on from the tragedy. But she said the ignition switch defect is making that difficult for her and other families.
“All of us parents need to move on and we can’t move on until it’s all behind us,” she said. “We thought it was behind us but now it is in our face again.”