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GM CEO Barra Expects To Testify About Recall

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Mary Barra, CEO of US carmaker General Motors GM arrives for a news conference at the headquarters of the company's German subsidiary Opel in Ruesselsheim, on January 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo credit/ DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Mary Barra, CEO of US carmaker General Motors GM arrives for a news conference at the headquarters of the company’s German subsidiary Opel in Ruesselsheim, on January 27, 2014. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo credit/ DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – General Motors CEO Mary Barra promises to get to the bottom of the problems leading to their massive recalls.

Barra says it’s likely she will testify before congressional committees investigating the company’s handling of a faulty ignition switch that is tied to 12 deaths.

The CEO, who has spent her career with GM, also says she first found out about the switch problem in late December and had no knowledge of it before that.

Barra spoke to reporters Tuesday for the first time since the company recalled 1.6 million compact cars to repair the problem. The switch can cause an engine to shut down unexpectedly and cause power steering and air bags to fail.

Barra apologized for the loss of life that occurred.

GM has admitted knowing about the problem for at least a decade but failing to recall the cars until last month — and clearly, Barra said, the process in this case took too long.

This comes latest comes after GM on Monday announced three additional recalls, unrelated to the ignition problem, as part of an effort to redouble the automaker’s focus on safety.

Barra told reporters the company is already changing the way it handles recalls, and more change is coming. She said senior GM management needs to discuss the recall every day.

In a video, also out this week, Barra said, “Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things happened.”

She said she would never put her own children in a vehicle that might harm them.

Barra said an internal investigation into the events leading to the ignition recall will take several months. 

She added that she does believes the vehicles involved in that recall are safe to drive, as long as other keys are removed from the key chains.

MORE: GM Creates New Post To Spearhead Safety Issues

GM Pledges To Cooperate With Government Recall Investigation

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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