BRIEF-GM CEO Barra blames "history of failures" for mishandling of defective switch

Thu Jun 5, 2014 9:19am EDT
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DETROIT, June 5 (Reuters) - General Motors Co CEO Mary Barra speaking at company town hall: * CEO barra says company's probe of its handling of defective ignition switch

has been shared with U.S. government and company board * CEO barra apologizes again for the pain caused by the defective part * CEO barra says company will accept responsibility for its mistakes * CEO barra says valukas, who led probe, was granted complete access, former GM

employees were part of probe * CEO barra says nhtsa will post copy of probe online for anyone to review * CEO barra says probe report is troubling * CEO barra says recall issue represented fundamental failure to meet basic

needs of customers * CEO barra says "we failed these customers" * CEO barra says probe found pattern of incompetance and neglect * CEO barra says company operated in silos * CEO barra says "this should have never happened" * CEO barra blames the actions of a few people * CEO barra says report called it a "history of failures," no sense of urgency * CEO barra says report says no one raised the issue to highest level of

company * CEO barra says many of problems in company system already fixed * CEO barra says valukas report revealed no conspracy by company to cover-up

ffacts and no trade-off was made betwene safety and costs * CEO barra says "we misdiagnosed the problem from the very beginning," saying

engineers didn't realize airbags wouldn't deploy with switch in off position * CEO barra cites steps company has already taken, including creation of global

vehicle safety job * CEO barra says we restructured the safety decision process to raise it to

highest levels, senior management will be involved in process * CEO barra says will act on recommendations of valukas report * CEO barra says recalls will be "substantially complete" by end of Q2 * CEO barra says a number of changes, including 15 individuals who "acted   Continued...