Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, says 15 employees were fired after they determined the employees "acted inappropriately" in dealing with the botched recall effort blamed for 13 deaths.
Five additional employees were disciplined for their failure to act in the recall scandal.
GM released the results of an investigation into why 2.6 million cars affected by a problem with an ignition switch went unreported for nearly ten years.
The company admitted in February that its engineers first discovered the problem with the switch as early as 2004, but did not recall the cars until early this year. The faulty switch, which made the cars prone to shutting off while in the road, disabling airbags, power steering and anti-lock brakes, is blamed for at least 13 deaths.
"It represents a fundamental failure to meet the basic needs of these customers," Barra said about the investigation's findings. "We simply didn't do our jobs. we failed these customers."
The company was already fined $35 million from safety regulators after facing two days of Congressional hearings. It is also the subject of a criminal probe.
Barra told Congress that GM was wrong to not order the recall much earlier and apologized for the delay.
Since this recall surfaced, GM has recalled a record 16 million cars worldwide just in the first six months of 2014. They have said it will cost about $1.7 billion to make the repairs on all the cars recalled.