May 19, 2014 / 2:59 PM / 4 years ago

GM names new top spokesman, turning to old hand

DETROIT, May 19 (Reuters) - General Motors Co has turned to an old hand to lead its global communications as it deals with the fallout of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million vehicles.

The No. 1 U.S. automaker on Monday named Tony Cervone senior vice president of global communications, replacing Selim Bingol, who left last month. Cervone had previously spent 10 years on GM’s public relations team, including leading communications in Europe. He joined GM from Chrysler and left it to join United Airlines.

Most recently, the 51-year-old was executive vice president of group communications for Volkswagen Group of America.

GM has been dealing with a public relations crisis brought on by its handling of the faulty switches, which led last week to a record fine by U.S. safety regulators.

The company also faces investigations by the U.S Department of Justice, Congress, the SEC and several states on why it took so long to recall cars linked to the issue, which was first noticed in 2001. GM recalled the cars earlier this year. (Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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