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?"


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

Our pandemic coverage is free to all. As is all of our reporting.

No paywalls. No advertising. No corporate sponsors. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, traffic to the Common Dreams website has gone through the roof— at times overwhelming and crashing our servers. Common Dreams is a news outlet for everyone and that’s why we have never made our readers pay for the news and never will. But if you can, please support our essential reporting today. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article