In the wake of several widely publicized recalls, General Motors created a new position to keep tabs on its safety investigations. Jeff Boyer was named vice president of global vehicle safety, and will report to GM's vice president of global engineering, John Calabrese, as well as GM executive vice president Mark Reuss and CEO Mary Barra.
"Jeff's appointment provides direct and ongoing access to GM leadership and the Board of Directors on critical customer safety issues," Barra said in a statement. "This new role elevates and integrates our safety process under a single leader so we can set a new standard for customer safety with more rigorous accountability."
Boyer, who joined GM in 1974, has since 2011 served as executive director of engineering operations and systems development. In his new role, Boyer will be tasked with keeping any potential safety defects from slipping through the cracks so GM doesn't have a repeat of its current ignition-switch recall debacle.
GM recalled 1.4 million vehicles earlier this year because the ignition switch could easily be bumped from the Run position to "Off," potentially disabling the airbags in a crash. The automaker may have known about the problem more than a decade ago, but only launched recalls in February after at least 12 deaths were linked to the defect. The recall affects the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, 2006-2007 Saturn Sky, 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, and 2007 Pontiac G5.