launch product development group focused on safety
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[April 16, 2014]
By Lewis Krauskopf
NEW YORK (Reuters) — General Motors Co.
<GM.N> will create a new global product integrity organization that
will focus on product safety and quality, said GM Chief Executive
Mary Barra in a speech on Tuesday.
"This new way of developing vehicles will provide the highest levels
of safety, quality, and customer service, and ensure that a
situation like the ignition-switch recall doesn't happen again,"
Barra said in New York.
Barra addressed the recall of 2.6 million cars for defective
ignition switches, which she has admitted GM bungled. At least 13
people have been killed in older model GM small cars with the
Barra, in comments to reporters, maintained her estimate given to
U.S. lawmakers at the start of April that its investigation into the
recall headed by former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas would be
completed by the middle to the end of May.
"When Mr. Valukas has completed his investigation, we will then take
the appropriate actions and then, as I've said, we will be
transparent. So that's where we're at."
Barra also noted that a team at GM is working around the clock to
answer the full slate of questions asked of the top-selling U.S.
automaker by the U.S. National Highway Traffic and Safety
Administration on the ignition switch defect issue.
Last week, NHTSA said GM did not answer more than a third of the 107
questions the safety regulator asked. GM faces a $7,000-per-day fine
since the April 3 deadline for not responding to all 107 questions.
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She said GM may wait for the completion of Valukas' investigation
before answering some of NHTSA's questions.
"We are trying to be as responsive as possible but we will not
sacrifice the accuracy and the right detail of the answers," Barra
Barra made her speech at an auto industry conference held by the
National Automobile Dealers Association and J.D. Power.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing by Bernard Orr)
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