Chevrolet Cruze autonomous vehicles parked in a lot on June 08, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Good pictures
Despite the findings that pointed to widespread problems with the company's culture, a third-party investigation, debriefing a day after the accident, found that “it did not establish that Cruise leadership or employees intended to deceive or mislead regulators.” A A summary of Cruz's statement.
Several cruise leaders and employees — most of whom were not employed by the company — attempted to show video of the incident to regulators, according to the findings, but were only able to do so in one of several initial meetings due to connectivity and video transmission problems.” Despite the intent to share information, cruise representatives later told few regulators or authorities what happened. They failed to inform properly.
“The problem is that when the video froze, literally and figuratively, the Cruise staff froze at that point, and no one thought to speak up and fill in the details,” a person close to the investigation told CNBC.
Some employees failed to update or correct the company's reports, omitting information like this and trying to shift the blame for the human accident and the driver who initially hit the pedestrian.
“This behavior has accused Cruise of misleading both regulators and the media,” the statement said. “The reasons for Cruz's failure in this event are many: poor leadership, errors in judgment, lack of coordination, an 'us vs. them' mentality with regulators, and a fundamental misunderstanding of Cruz's obligations to government and the public to accountability and transparency. .”
Queen Emanuel retained commercial litigation firm Cruise to conduct a three-month investigation, interviewing 88 Cruise employees and reviewing more than 200,000 documents, including emails, texts, Slack messages and more.
The investigation was led by former federal prosecutor John Potter, a San Francisco-based partner and co-chair of the corporate investigations group at the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. The firm is known for representing high-profile celebrities and business owners, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
After the incident, Cruise's robotaxi fleet was discontinued. Local and central governments have launched their own investigations. Cruise leadership gutted: Its co-founders, including former CEO Kyle Vogt, resigned and nine executives were ousted. The venture also laid off 24% of its workforce and a round of contractors.
Kyle Vogt shows off the push-button opening of the side-opening doors on the new Cruze Origin, which has removed all drive motors, during the launch of the fully autonomous passenger vehicle, the Cruze Origin, in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Photo by: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Carlos Avila Gonzalez | Hearst Newspapers | Good pictures
Cruz said he “accepts” the conclusions found in the report. The San Francisco-based company, in which GM owns more than 80%, said it was acting on “all” recommendations and was “fully cooperating” with investigations by state and federal agencies following the Oct. 2 crash.
The agency said Thursday that the California DMV, the California Public Utilities Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating or investigating the incident.
“It is a fundamentally wrong approach for Cruise or any other business to take the position that a video of an accident causing serious injury provides all the necessary information to regulators and otherwise relieves the need to assure and fully inform these regulators of all the relevant facts,” Quinn Emanuel of Findings said.
Exponent Inc., an engineering consulting firm. In a separate investigation conducted by Ak. 2 The Cruise autonomous vehicle involved in the incident “misclassified the collision with the pedestrian as a side-impact collision, leading the AV to perform a subsequent pull-over maneuver. The outer lane instead of an emergency stop,” the report said.
Exponent's results, which also found a semantic mapping error, were consistent with Cruz's analysis of the incident, the company said.
Cruise said it improved the software to address the underlying issues Voluntarily recalled with NHTSA in November.
Cruise vehicles have landed in the U.S. A source familiar with operations told CNBC the company is “committed” to restarting operations, though the company is currently focused on rebuilding trust with regulators and addressing other issues outlined in the report.
Before the crash, Cruise was planning a serious expansion of robotaxis outside its home market, where most of its vehicles operate.
Cruise, which GM bought in 2016, was considered the leader in autonomous vehicles along with Alphabet-backed Waymo, beating out several companies that have abandoned the segment.
After buying Cruze, GM brought in investors like Honda Motor, SoftBank Vision Fund and more recently Walmart and Microsoft. However, in 2022, GM bought SoftBank's equity stake for $2.1 billion.
Mary Barra, GM CEO and chief executive of Cruze, said last month that the Detroit automaker is “very focused on righting the ship” on Cruze.
GM said in a statement that Quinn Emanuel's report “confirms that Cruz's actions following the Oct. 2 incident were inconsistent with the company's values and fell far short of the reasonable expectations of regulators and the public.”
“We know that to move forward successfully, Cruise must do so in full partnership with regulators and the communities it serves. We remain committed to Cruise's vision and know that this transformative technology will ultimately save lives,” the company said Thursday.