Does Not Perform To Design: On GM's Apocalyptic, Grenade-Like, Potentially Disfiguring Deathtraps

Guess it's not just the feds who are so down on whistleblowers. The revelation of General Motors' deadly, decade-long malfeasance on design defects, resulting in a recall of up to 11 million cars and a record $35 million fine from the feds, was surely bad enough. But now comes a newly released 2008 training document showing that GM top brass issued a list of 65 no-no words to quietly guide employees documenting potential safety issues, so that while discussing a faulty ignition switch and other defects that killed at least 13 people - defects long covered up within an evidently rampant culture of denial - they wouldn't, you know, give the company a bad name or leave them any more legally liable they they have to be. The list of banned words ranges from "safety" and "problem" to "gruesome," "grisly," "terrifying," "Kevorkianesque," "widow-maker," "Hindenburg," "rolling sarcophagus" and, oh yeah, "defect." Suggested replacement: "Does not perform to design." On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver savages their criminal insanity with a refreshingly honest GM ad. Its tagline is "Why Walk Through the Valley of Death When You Can Drive?"

Mid-Year Campaign: Your Support is Needed Now.

Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. But our costs are real. Common Dreams needs your help today! If you're a regular reader—or maybe a new one—and you haven't yet pitched in, could you make a contribution today? Because this is the truth: Readers, like you, keep us alive. Please make a donation now so we can continue to work for you.

Share This Article