General Motors CEO responds on recall ‘I am deeply sorry’ Times… — Volkswagen Safari

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General Motors CEO responds on ‘I am deeply sorry’

— The fix for a faulty ignition switch to 13 traffic deaths would cost just 57 cents, of Congress said Tuesday as demanded answers from Motors’ new CEO on why the automaker took 10 to recall cars with the

At a hearing on Capitol Hill a House subcommittee, GM’s Barra acknowledged under testy questioning that the took too long to act. She changes at GM that would such a lapse from again.

If there’s a safety we’re going to make the change and accept that, Barra, who became CEO in January and immediately found herself into one of the biggest product crises Detroit has ever

But as relatives of the crash victims on intently, she admitted that she know why it took years for the defect to be announced. And she deflected questions about what wrong, saying an internal is under way.

Since February, GM has recalled 2.6 cars — mostly Cobalts and Saturn Ions over the faulty switch, can cause the engine to cut off in traffic, the power steering, power and air bags and making it difficult to the vehicle. The automaker said new should be available starting 7.

Barra was firm, calm and throughout the proceedings. But she struggled at to answer lawmakers’ pointed particularly about why GM used the when it knew the part meet its own specifications.

When she to draw a distinction between that didn’t meet and those that were and dangerous, Rep. Joe Barton, shot back: What you answered is gobbledygook.

She also announced that GM has Kenneth Feinberg — who the fund for the victims of 9/11, the Marathon bombing and the BP oil spill to explore ways to compensate of accidents in the GM cars. Barra short of saying GM would such a fund.

Some of the appeared surprised that hadn’t reviewed the tens of of pages of documents that GM to the committee, and that she was unaware of decision-making processes at the company.

Diana DeGette, D-Colo. up a switch for one of the cars and said a spring inside it failed to enough force, causing to turn off when they over a bump.

DeGette showed how easy it was for a set of car keys to move the ignition out of the run

GM has said that in 2005, engineers proposed solutions to the problem, but the automaker concluded none represented an acceptable case.

Documents provided by GM that this unacceptable increase was only 57 cents, said.

The 57 cents is just the of the replacement switch. The figure not include the labor costs in installing the new part.

Barra that the fix to the switch, if undertaken in would have cost GM $100 million, compared substantially more now.

questioning, she said the automaker’s not to make the fix because of cost was disturbing and unacceptable, and she assured of Congress that that of thinking represents the old General and that is not how GM does business

I think we in the past had more of a culture, Barra said, that it is moving toward a customer-focused culture.

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Rep. Tim R-Pa. chairman of the House and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and read from an e-mail between GM employees and those at which made the switch. One that the Cobalt is blowing up in face in regards to the car turning

Murphy asked why, if the was so big, GM didn’t replace all of in cars already on the road.

there were a lot of things at that time, Barra


In his prepared remarks, David head of the National Highway Safety Administration, pointed the at GM, saying the automaker had information decade that could led to a recall, but shared it only month.

Rep. Henry D-Calif. said that Energy and Commerce Committee members found 133 warranty filed with GM over 10 detailing customer complaints of engine stalling when drove over a bump or keys with their

The claims were filed June 2003 and June

Waxman said that GM didn’t undertake a simple fix it learned of the problem, at least a people have died in GM vehicles.

Some current GM car and relatives of those who died in were also in Washington answers. The group attended the after holding a news demanding action against GM and legislation.

Owners of the recalled cars can ask for a loaner vehicle while for the replacement part. Barra GM has provided more than loaners.

AP Interactive: Auto and recalls

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