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GM Review Found 'History Of Failures' In Ignition Switch Debacle, CEO Says

An internal inquiry into the long-delayed ignition switch recall by General Motors found an 11-year "history of failures," CEO Mary Barra says. She announced the findings of an investigation into how the company handled a deadly defect with ignition switches at a Thursday morning news conference.

"As I read the report, I was deeply saddened and disturbed," Barra says. She said it described "a fundamental failure to meet the basic needs" of the company's customers.

Update at 9:30 a.m. ET: More Details Expected


Barra is slated to speak to reporters this morning. You can watch that event via streaming video; we'll update this post with news from the briefing.

Our original post continues:

The report found "a pattern of incompetence and neglect," Barra says, adding that GM employees repeatedly failed to share details about problems with the ignition switch in a way that could have limited their scope (see NPR's timeline of events).

No one took responsibility or showed a sense of urgency, the report says of teams that included engineers and other workers as well as the company's lawyers.

Barra, who became GM's CEO earlier this year, announced changes that included firing 15 people who showed either incompetency or an unwillingness to solve the problems. She also said disciplinary actions had been taken against five employees.


Speaking to an auditorium that was crowded with employees Thursday morning, Barra pledged to "keep this painful experience permanently in our collective memories."

The GM investigation was carried out by Anton Valukas, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in the late 1980s.

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