DETROIT (AP) - Another high-ranking General Motors engineer is leaving the company in the wake of its delayed recall of small cars with faulty ignition switches.
Jim Federico, who most recently headed safety, vehicle performance and testing labs, is retiring after almost 36 years with the company. GM said he's leaving on his own to work outside the auto industry.
Federico was GM's highest-ranking executive with safety in his title in February, when the company began recalling 2.6 million older-model small cars to replace the defective ignition switches. He was also the chief engineer for global small cars in 2010, and was involved in an internal investigation into the faulty switches.
The switches can unexpectedly move out of the "run" position, shutting off the engine and disabling the power-assisted steering and brakes, and the air bags. GM says the problem has been linked to 13 deaths, but one trial lawyer says he has 53 wrongful death lawsuits against GM due to the problem.