General Motors CEO Mary Barra Steps Up To Congress Once Again
The main concern was culture. The head of the committee, for example, cited that only 15 of 200,000 GM employees were terminated, making any change difficult.
Another issue raised surrounds the recently formed safety committee: the “lionshare” (as stated by Barra) of the 40 member group were appointed internally.
Several congressman expressed concern that the safety culture has not been effective in the past and that internal appointment will not lead to change.
Barra also revealed details on the progress of recall repairs. Over 400,000 Cobalt ignition parts have shipped, all parts will be available by October (2.6 million Cobalts have been produced globally).
According to Barra, the current bottleneck is a low flow of people to bring their cars to dealerships for service. To help this effort, the chief executive reported that GM has added 100 customer engagement representatives to accelerate the process.
One of the more interesting questions Barra was asked is if she would let her children drive a recalled Cobalt.
Although she did not directly answer the question, she asserted that driving with just a key and key with a ring have been verified as safe.
An additional update regards Delphi’s (NYSE: DLPH) unwillingness to cooperate.
Valukas was questioned several times about the information he was able to collect on Delphi. Valukas stated that he requested all documents and were given very few. It will be interesting to see if this negative publicity will motive the auto supplier to cooperate further.
Shares of General Motors slowly sold off during Barra’s testimony.
The stock was last trading at $36.04, down 0.9 percent for the day.
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