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GM CEO In Testimony On Ignition Issues: “I Am Deeply Sorry”

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General Motors CEO Mary Barra addresses the media during a news conference at the headquarters of the company's German subsidiary Opel in Ruesselsheim, on January 27, 2014.  (Credit: DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

General Motors CEO Mary Barra addresses the media during a news conference at the headquarters of the company’s German subsidiary Opel in Ruesselsheim, on January 27, 2014. (Credit: DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ) - General Motors CEO Mary Barra has released a written transcript ahead of her testimony before Congress regarding GM’s recent recalls.

Barra, in her written testimony, says that when she found out there was a problem, she acted immediately.

“We told the world we had a problem that needed to be fixed,” Barra says. “We did so because whatever mistakes were made in the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now and in the future. Today’s GM will do the right thing. That begins with my sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by this recall…especially to the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured. I am deeply sorry.”

GM has recalled 2.6 million small cars because their ignition switches can fall out of the run position, causing car engines to stall and air bags to fail. Thirteen deaths are blamed on the problem.

House and Senate subcommittees plan hearings starting Tuesday to find out why GM didn’t recall the cars sooner and why the government never investigated the cars.

Barra said at this point she still doesn’t know what took GM so long to issue the recall, but she promises to get to the bottom of it. She also promises transparency.

“I’ve asked former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas to conduct a thorough and unimpeded investigation of the actions of General Motors. He has free rein to go where the facts take him, regardless of the outcome,” Barra says. “The facts will be the facts. Once they are in, my management team and I will use his findings to help assure this does not happen again. We will hold ourselves fully accountable.”

Barra says the latest round of GM recalls demonstrates how serious the company is about safety.

“We identified these issues. We brought them forward and we are fixing them. I have asked our team to keep stressing the system at GM and work with one thing in mind — our customers and their safety are at the center of everything we do,” Barra says.

The CEO says the company is working hard to keep customers happy, and to reestablish trust with those affected by the recall.

“We’ve empowered our dealers to take extraordinary measures and to treat each case specifically—and they are doing a great job taking care of our customers,” Barra says. “…As I’ve reminded our employees, getting the cars repaired is only the first step. Giving customers the best support possible throughout this process is how we will be judged.”

MORE:  GM Recalls 1.3 Million Vehicles Over Power Steering Issue

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