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GM engineer behind switch defect: ''I did my job''

Raymond DeGiorgio remains defiant after taking blame for designing defective switch.

Former General Motors engineer Raymond DeGiorgio has finally spoken publicly about his role in the ignition-switch debacle.

He remains defiant despite taking blame for designing the original defective switch and the revised design, which carried the same part number and consequently confused investigators for years.

"All I can say is that I did my job," DeGiorgio told The New York Times in an interview. "I didn't lie, cheat or steal. I did my job the best I could."

The company has focused on the alleged incompetence of several former engineers in its assessment of what went wrong. Critics suggest the low-level employees are partially at fault, but such behavior was largely the consequence of a broken culture that may still permeate the employee ranks from top to bottom.

DeGiorgio had referred to the defective component as the "switch from hell," which was reportedly designed with lighter rotation force to meet upper management's demand for the Cobalt to mimic European cars. The former engineer did seek higher approval for a replacement to the poor design, however the idea was shot down by his superiors.

A separate report recently claimed GM placed a large order for revised ignition switches several months before notifying regulators of the defect, in apparent violation of federal law. The revelation could pose further legal problems for the company, which already faces federal and state investigations into potential criminal wrongdoing.

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