Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Aide: GM CEO tells lawmakers recall probe, victim compensation plan could come at same time

DETROIT - General Motors CEO Mary Barra has told Washington lawmakers that GM could simultaneously release an internal investigation into a deadly ignition switch problem and its plan to compensate victims.

Barra met with lawmakers Wednesday on Capitol Hill and told them the investigation and compensation plan could be done in a few weeks, said the aide, who asked not to be identified because the meetings were private.

She also told lawmakers GM can't keep up with demand for replacement ignition parts for its recall of 2.6 million older small cars. GM expects to catch up in July and start a campaign to persuade people to take cars to dealers for repairs, the CEO told legislators, according to the aide.

The ignition switches in older small cars such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion can slip unexpectedly out of the "run" position, shutting off the engine and knocking out power steering and brakes. The switches also can disable the air bags. Many victims have lost control of their cars and crashed. GM links the switch problem to 13 deaths, but trial lawyers suing the company say it's in excess of 53.

Congress and Justice Department are investigating GM's slow response to the safety problem. The company has agreed to pay a $35 million fine assessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

GM confirmed that Barra met with legislators and said in a statement that since becoming CEO in January, she has visited "to discuss issues that are important to them."

The automaker has hired former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas to investigate why it took so long for the company to recall the small cars even though GM knew about the problem for at least a decade. GM has promised an "unvarnished" report, and Barra has told Congress she will take decisive action on its findings. Included in the scope of Valukas' probe is the role of GM's legal team in the delays.

The company also has hired compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg to negotiate settlements with crash victims. Lawyers say they have at least 400 possible cases against GM, and the settlements could cost the company billions.

Barra met with Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri; Chuck Schumer, D-New York; and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, as well as Reps. Dianna DeGette, D-Colorado and John Dingell, D-Michigan. Some of the legislators are the same ones who grilled Barra at subcommittee hearings last month.

Barra has agreed to return to committee hearings after Valukas' investigation is finished.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media