Kettering professor thinks GM has new safety attitude - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Kettering professor thinks GM has new safety attitude

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(03/19/14) - A professor at Flint's Kettering University says she thinks there's a new attitude about safety and recalls at General Motors.

Kettering is proud that two alums are leading the effort to improve GM cars.

Changes being made by the automaker could result in safer, more reliable cars in the future.

Kettering was known as GMI when Jeff Boyer graduated in the 1970s. This week, he was named to the new position of vehicle safety chief at GM.

The move was made after the automaker announced the recall of nearly 3 million vehicles in the past few weeks.

Boyer was appointed by GM CEO Mary Barra, also a Kettering grad.

"With the newly created position, it really shows a direct impact that GM wants to make on safety, making sure it's a key component that they address in all their vehicles," said Janet Brelin-Fornari, Kettering University professor.

Brelin-Fornari knows something about the topic. She's director of the Kettering Crash Safety Center.

"Consumers have always looked at safety as one of the chief components that they expect in their vehicles," she said.

The Kettering professor says Boyer has an excellent resume and will do well in reducing GM recalls. She sees a new attitude developing at GM.

"They're addressing issues as they need to be addressed. They are bringing them out in the open and communicating with their customers in order to have that consumer satisfaction," Brelin-Fornari said.

"Something went wrong with our process in this instance, terrible things happened. As a member of the GM family and as a mom with a family of my own, that really hits home for me. We have apologized. But that is just one step in the journey to resolve this," said Mary Barra, GM CEO.

"The apology that she addressed to the company and the employees as well as the public really shows she's not afraid to address the issues of safety," Brelin-Fornari said.

GM has acknowledged it knew about problems with ignition switches in its compact cars 10 years ago.

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