WASHINGTON (WWJ) – General Motors’ recall issues are taking the spotlight on Capitol Hill as a congressional committee questions GM’s CEO and the nation’s top safety regulator.
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.
Testifying Tuesday afternoon, GM CEO Mary Barra promised the automaker is working to find out exactly what happened to keep it from happening again.
She says if decisions were made simply on a financial basis, that’s unacceptable.
Barra said the company has hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg, an expert in disaster fund management, to advise them on some next steps — although she felt short of promising victim’s families will be compensated.
“I consider this to be an extraordinary event, and we are responding to it in an extraordinary way,” she said. “As I see it, GM has civil responsibilities and legal responsibilities. We are thinking through exactly what those responsibilities are.”
Barra says that she doesn’t know why it took so long for GM to take action on the recall; but when she found out there was a problem, she says, she acted immediately.