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GM’s CEO Mary Barra: No more firings over car recalls

GM CEO Mary Barra Testifies At Senate Consumer Protection Panel Over RecallGM CEO Mary Barra Testifies At Senate Consumer Protection Panel Over Recall
Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors.Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty Images

General Motors (GM) won’t dismiss any more employees related to the company’s handling of a faulty ignition switch that killed as many as 13 people, CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday.

“We feel we’ve taken the appropriate actions as it relates to the ignition switch recall,” Barra told reporters prior to the annual shareholders meeting in Detroit.

GM fired 15 employees and disciplined another five after an investigation by attorney Anton Valukas found ongoing incompetence and neglect when it came to dealing with the faulty automobiles. Engineers and legal experts at the company failed to grasp the severity of the problem, Valukas said, which resulted in GM taking almost a decade to recall 2.59 million cars linked to the deaths.

“It is clear that no one did enough to protect these customers,” Barra told shareholders. And such carelessness “will not be tolerated.”

Kenneth Feinberg will oversee the victim’s compensation program, which will begin accepting claims on Aug. 1. Feinberg, who has overseen similar funds for victims of Sept. 11 and the BP oil spill, will provide GM with a compensation proposal that will help outline the total costs for GM, Barra said.

GM also said the pace of vehicle recalls, which has risen sharply in recent weeks, should slow down, although it expects a few more in the second quarter. The automaker also said the financial impact of the planned victim’s compensation program remains unclear.