OAN’s James Meyers
8:47 AM – Thursday, December 14, 2023
General Motors (GM) Cruise autonomous vehicle unit has dismissed nine “key leaders” due to ongoing safety investigations.
The leaders were a part of Cruise’s legal, government affairs, commercial operations and safety and system teams, according to the company-wide message.
The safety investigations were started due to an October accident in San Francisco, involving one of Cruise’s robotaxis, which dragged a pedestrian after the person was struck by another vehicle.
After the accident, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended the deployment and testing permits for its autonomous vehicles in late-October. Cruise responded by pausing all roadway operations throughout the United States.
Additionally, the company is facing pressure and fines for allegedly misleading or withholding details about the accident in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and California Public Utilities Commission are probing Cruise and the accident.
GM CEO Mary Barra, said last week the company is “very focused on righting the ship” at Cruise. This includes two ongoing safety reviews that are expected to be completed in early 2024, Barra said.
“The personnel decisions made today are a necessary step for Cruise to move forward as it focuses on accountability, trust and transparency. GM remains committed to supporting Cruise in these efforts,” GM said in an emailed statement Wednesday.
The slashing of the workforce comes after a month ago Cruise CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt and Chief Product Officer Dan Kan both resigned.
Furthermore, GM purchased Cruise in 2016 and brought on investors such as Honda Motor, Vision Fund, Walmart and Microsoft.
According to Barra, the acquisition of Cruise was in hopes to double GM’s revenue by 2030.
However, Cruise has actually cost GM over $8 billion since the company acquired it in 2016, according to public filings. Through the third quarter this year they reported that the company lost an additional $1.9 billion.
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