March 29, 2014 - Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP Open Letter to GM CEO Mary Barra
This coming week many of my clients will be traveling to Washington D.C. for the Congressional hearingsâ€”they make this trip in honor and memory of their loved ones who were killed in your companyâ€™s vehicles.
On their behalves, I am inviting you to meet with them.
These are the parents and siblings of your companyâ€™s victims, they are the survivors of GMâ€™s fraudâ€”as you can perhaps appreciate, they are also life long victims as well. Real people who find themselves faced with the impossible reality that their loved ones died and their families were forever changed needlessly. It did not have to happen. It should not have happened.
The massiveness and depth of GMâ€™s betrayal can only be understood through the consequence of the true human cost to its customersâ€”customers who trusted GM to make safe cars that would protect their families. Accept their invitation â€“ come and look into the sad and painful eyes of those who must now live with losses that are immeasurable. Please talk with them. Listen to them.
Their healing deserves and needs to include this meeting. GMâ€™s humanity, if it is to survive, requires this meeting. Mary, you are the face of the company, please take time to visit with these moms and dadsâ€”so they do not remain just photographs on a page, or stories you have read aboutâ€”let them be real to you, to GM.
Come sit with them, honor their grief by learning about their children lostâ€¦hear their favorite stories, understand through their eyes how unique these young kids were, feel how much they were loved and how much they are missed and mourned. These folks you will meet represent the heart of America, regular people trying to understand and accept that their children died so GM could keep a life-threatening defect hidden for over a decade.
For a moment, Mrs. Barra, and respectfully, imagine this happening to your family. Consider this: One morning, while driving your daughters to school a GM cobalt loses power and suddenly drifts into your lane resulting in a head on impact (not one of my clients would wish this on you or your family)â€”imagine your heartache, your pain, your fierce confusion when you begin to understand that GM, an American icon, did this to you and your girls and did it intentionally, knowingly and with a sense of corporate entitlement that is stunning in its enormity.
How would you manage that level of suffering? Could your fierce and life-long loyalty to this company survive as you discover this was a completely preventable accidentâ€”caused solely to aid a massive and years long deceitful cover-up involving millions of vehicles, hundred of lives and a level of callousness and arrogance unprecedented in our Countryâ€™s history?
The short answer for you would be no different than the answer my clients face, you could not accept it. Your loss would be just as real and painful and dark as is theirs. Your tears would burn as hot and your anguish would attempt to destroy you, and be renewed daily. No doubt, you would pray to find the grace necessary to make peace with such an unthinkable scenarioâ€”the same prayers that are whispered every day in homes all over this country by the surviving victims of GMâ€™s decisions.
Mrs. Barra, now that the truth has come to lightâ€”with more head-shaking disclosures every dayâ€”you must do whatâ€™s right. These are nice folks, who you will like. Folks who, through no fault of their own, find their wounds reopened. They are struggling. They need closure. They need to hear from you, listen to your voice to know you are truly sorry and that you share in their grief and, to an extent at least, you understand their loss.
Robert C. Hilliard
Download the Open Letter Here: Open Letter to GM CEO Mary Barra.pdf