GM CEO said ignition-switch recall will take time to play out

martes 4 de marzo de 2014 16:24 GYT

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT, March 4 (Reuters) - General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra said the No. 1 U.S. automaker was sorry for the recent recall of an ignition-switch linked to 13 deaths, and said the process would take time to play out but the company would work to ensure customer satisfaction.

In a letter to employees on Tuesday, Barra, who took over in January as the automotive industry's first female chief executive, said the recall would "take time to play out" and GM would cooperate with all the parties involved.

Those groups include U.S. safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which last week opened an investigation into whether the Detroit company reacted fast enough in its recall of more than 1.6 million cars.

GM employees can expect "additional developments in the near term" related to the recall, Barra said in the letter posted on GM Fastlane, the company's electronic news magazine. She did not provide more details but reiterated that the company had launched an internal review "to give us an unvarnished report on what happened."

"We will hold ourselves accountable and improve our processes so our customers do not experience this again," she said.

GM, which went through a bankruptcy restructuring in 2009, could face a maximum fine of $35 million if it failed to notify NHTSA within five days of a recall after learning of a vehicle safety defect.

The company did not say how much the recall would cost. Analysts have said the biggest cost could result from the flurry of lawsuits likely to be triggered by the defect and the company's actions.

GM's recall was to correct a condition that may allow the engine and other components, including front airbags, to be unintentionally turned off.   Continuación...