General Engines has fired nine executives working with its Cruise autonomous vehicle unit amid an ongoing safety investigation, including chief operating officer Gil West, FOX Business has confirmed.

The firings come weeks after GM shut down Cruise's robotaxi operations for a safety investigation after a woman was assaulted and dragged by a cruise vehicle in San Francisco on October 2.

Cruise has faced intense scrutiny from California regulators since the accident. CEO Kyle Vogt and co-founder Dan Kan have resigned in recent weeks, and the company is reportedly preparing for layoffs later this month.

“After an initial review of the October 2 incident and Cruise’s response to it, nine people departed from Cruise,” states a company memo obtained by FOX Business. The memo was first reported by Reuters.

KYLE VOGT, CEO OF GM CRUZEIRO, RESIGNATIONS FROM THE COMPANY

An autonomous GM Bolt EV is seen during a media event where Cruise, GM's self-driving car unit, showcased its self-driving cars in San Francisco on November 28, 2017. (REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters Photos)

“We are committed to full transparency and focused on rebuilding trust and operating with the highest standards when it comes to security, integrity and accountability,” the memo states. “As a result, we believe new leadership is needed to achieve these goals.”

Reuters reported that Cruise's chief legal and political officer, Jeff Bleich, and senior vice president of government affairs, David Estrada, were among those leaving the company.

“The people decisions made today are a necessary step as Cruise moves forward as it focuses on accountability, trust and transparency,” GM said in a statement.

GM WILL STOP PRODUCTION OF CRUISE DRIVER-LESS VAN

protester holds sign against robotaxis

A protester holds a sign during a demonstration outside the California Public Utilities Commission on August 7, 2023, in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty Images)

The safety concerns are a major setback for Cruise, which has announced plans to expand its self-driving taxi service to more U.S. cities. O California DMV hit Cruise with an indefinite suspension following the accident, covering both testing licenses and the deployment of robotaxis.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also launched a separate safety investigation of the autonomous driving system in Cruise's vehicles in December following two rear-end crashes. The agency said vehicles “may brake inappropriately or become immobilized.”

Law firm Quinn Emmanuel is leading the safety investigation, GM said.

CRUZEIRO PAUSES DRIVERLESS VEHICLE OPERATIONS IN US DURING SAFETY INVESTIGATION

A Cruise, which is a driverless robot taxi, is seen during operation in San Francisco on July 24, 2023. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Cruise, in February 2022, petitioned US regulators seeking permission to deploy up to 2,500 autonomous Origin vehicles annually without human controls such as steering wheels.

The company announced two weeks ago that it plans to halt production of its Cruise Origin van, with a GM spokesperson telling Reuters that “we are finalizing production of a small number of pre-commercial vehicles and after that, we plan to temporarily pause the production”.

Clock Security Last To change To change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 33.99 +0.57 +1.71%
HMC HONDA MOTOR CO. LTD. 30.62 +0.11 +0.36%

The Detroit-built Cruise Origin vehicle was jointly developed by GM, Cruise and Honda.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS

Cruise could face $1.5 million in fines and additional sanctions for failing to disclose details of the crash, a California agency said.

Mo Elshenawy took over as president of Cruise last month and told an all-hands meeting in early December that the autonomous vehicle unit had reached an “all-time low.”

Fox Business's Greg Norman, Eric Revell and Reuters contributed to this report.

Source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here