General Motors Defends 'Ambassador' Program

General Motors is defending its ambassador program, which provided some Cadillac Lyriq electric vehicle customers with a cash incentive in exchange for vehicle feedback. 

In exchange for the $5,500, the 20 people were asked to sign a NDA. The customers agreed to let GM track how they use their Lyriq.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in communication with General Motors over concerns it has with the program.  

"NHTSA relies on reports from consumers as an important source of information in evaluating potential safety defects," NHTSA spokesperson Lucia Sanchez told the Detroit Free Press. "Any agreement that may prevent or dissuade consumers from reporting safety concerns to NHTSA is unacceptable.”



GM posted a statement on its media site explaining the program. The automaker called it a “small-scale Ambassador program to provide some early learnings from the first vehicles sold.”

The objective was to “continuously elevate the brand experience. This includes handling, performance, safety, comfort and any other feedback the Ambassadors wish to share as Cadillac enthusiasts.”

While the program agreement contains provisions designed to protect GM's confidential and proprietary information, it is not intended to and does not prohibit or preclude participants from reporting any issue -- safety or otherwise -- to NHTSA or any other regulatory body, according to GM.

The automaker says it will be sending a written communication to the ambassadors to emphasize to them that they are not prohibited from reporting any concern to NHTSA or any other entity.

The popular vehicle is sold out for this model year, and the automaker has started taking reservations for next year's models. 

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