Harley-Davidson has hired a former General Motors engineer and executive, most recently recognized for leading the automaker’s internal investigation of its ignition switch fiasco that resulted in a recall of 2.6 million vehicles.
Jim Federico retired from GM on May 5 after working in various roles with the company over nearly four decades, most recently as executive director of global vehicle integration. Federico will join Harley-Davidson on June 2 as vice president of engineering.
“We’ve been talking to Jim about this position for some time,” Harley-Davidson spokesperson Maripat Blankenheim tells Reuters.
Federico oversaw the internal investigation into faulty ignition switches that have been linked to at least 13 fatalities. On certain GM models, the ignition key may unintentionally turn to the accessory or off position, turning off the engine and other electrical components including airbag sensors.
GM is now under investigation from various government agencies about the company’s handling of the problem as the company may have had a fix available since 2005 that was never implemented. In the fallout, GM suspended two engineers with pay in April while John Calabrese, the company’s global engineering chief, retired two weeks ago.