CEO Mary Barra’s Written Congressional Testimony Now Available
Mon, Mar 31 2014
WASHINGTON D.C. - GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra’s written testimony was submitted today to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Her testimony addresses the GM Ignition Switch Recall and answers the question: “Why Did It Take So Long?” Barra is scheduled to give oral testimony on Capitol Hill tomorrow afternoon, April 1 and on April 2.
Written Testimony of General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra Before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations “The GM Ignition Switch Recall: Why Did It Take So Long?” April 1, 2014
Chairmen Murphy and Upton, Ranking Members DeGette and Waxman, members of the committee…
My name is Mary Barra, and I am the Chief Executive Officer of General Motors.
I appreciate the opportunity to be here today.
More than a decade ago, GM embarked on a small car program. Sitting here today, I cannot tell you why it took years for a safety defect to be announced in that program, but I can tell you that we will find out.
When we have answers, we will be fully transparent with you, with our regulators, and with our customers.
As soon as l learned about the problem, we acted without hesitation. We told the world we had a problem that needed to be fixed. We did so because whatever mistakes were made in the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now and in the future. Today’s GM will do the right thing.
That begins with my sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by this recall…especially to the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured. I am deeply sorry.
I’ve asked former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas to conduct a thorough and unimpeded investigation of the actions of General Motors. He has free rein to go where the facts take him, regardless of the outcome. The facts will be the facts. Once they are in, my management team and I will use his findings to help assure this does not happen again. We will hold ourselves fully accountable.
However, I want to stress that I’m not waiting for his results to make changes.
I’ve named a new vice president for Global Vehicle Safety, Jeff Boyer (announcement is included below). This is a first for GM. Jeff’s first priority is to quickly identify and resolve any and all product safety issues. He is not taking on this task alone. I stand with him. My senior management team stands with him. And we will welcome input from outside GM — from you, from NHTSA, from Mr. Valukas’ findings, from our customers, from our dealers, and from our current and former employees.
This latest round of recalls demonstrates just how serious we are about the way we will do things at the new GM. We identified these issues. We brought them forward and we are fixing them. I have asked our team to keep stressing the system at GM and work with one thing in mind — our customers and their safety are at the center of everything we do.
Our customers who have been affected by this recall are getting our full and undivided attention.
We’re talking directly to them through a dedicated website, with constantly updated information, and through social media platforms. We’ve trained and assigned more people to our customer call centers, and wait times are down to seconds. And, of course, we’re sending customers written information through the mail.
We’ve empowered our dealers to take extraordinary measures and to treat each case specifically—and they are doing a great job taking care of our customers. Here’s what we are doing with our dealers: if people do not want to drive a recalled vehicle before it is repaired, dealers can provide them a loaner or rental car — free of charge. If a customer is already looking for another car, dealers can provide an additional cash allowance for the purchase or lease of a new vehicle.
Our supplier is manufacturing new replacement parts for the vehicles that are no longer in production. We have commissioned two and asked for a third production line, and those parts will start to be delivered to dealers as soon as possible.
These measures are only the first in making things right and rebuilding trust with our customers. As I’ve reminded our employees, getting the cars repaired is only the first step. Giving customers the best support possible throughout this process is how we will be judged.
I would like this committee to know that all of our GM employees and I are determined to set a new standard. And I am encouraged to say that everyone at GM—up to and including our Board of Directors—supports this.
I’m a second-generation GM employee and I’m here as the CEO, but I’m also here representing the men and women who are part of today’s GM and are dedicated to putting the highest-quality and safest vehicles on the road.
I recently held a town hall meeting to formally introduce our new VP of global vehicle safety to the company. We met at our Technical Center, one of the places where the men and women who engineer our vehicles work. They are the brains behind our cars, but they are also the heart of GM.
It was a tough meeting. Like me, they are disappointed and upset. I could see it in their faces, and could hear it in their voices. They had many of the same questions that I suspect are on your minds. They want to make things better for our customers, and in the process, make GM better.
That’s what I’m committed to doing.
I would now be happy to answer your questions.
View Terms & Conditions
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS SITE
THIS WEB SITE (THE "SITE") IS PROVIDED BY GM FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. BY USING THE SITE, OR BY DOWNLOADING MATERIALS FROM THIS SITE, YOU AGREE TO ABIDE AND BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CONTAINED BELOW AND ELSEWHERE WITHIN THE SITE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO ABIDE BY AND BE BOUND BY THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, DO NOT USE THIS SITE OR DOWNLOAD MATERIALS FROM THE SITE.
LINKS TO OTHER MATERIALS: As a convenience to you, GM may provide on this Site links to Web sites (the "linked sites") that are operated by other entities. The linked sites are not under the control of GM and GM is not responsible for the content of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. GM reserves the right to terminate any link or linking program at any time. GM does not endorse companies or products to which it links and reserves the right to note as such on its Web pages. If you decide to access any of the third party sites linked to this Site, you do this entirety at your own risk and it is your responsibility to take all protective measures to guard against viruses or other destructive elements.
APPLICABLE LAWS: This Site is controlled by GM from its offices within the United States of America. GM makes no representation that information in this Site is appropriate or available for use in other locations, and access to this Site from countries or territories where the Site's content is illegal is prohibited. If you access this Site from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and you are responsible for compliance with all applicable local laws. These Terms and Conditions of use are governed by the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to its conflict of laws provisions.
GENERAL: GM reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to change, modify, add or remove any portion of these Terms and Conditions, in whole or in part, at any time. Changes will be effective when notice of such change is posted. Your continued use of the Site after any changes are posted will be considered acceptance of those changes. You should visit this page from time to time to review the then-current Terms and Conditions because they are binding on you.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN MAY CONTAIN INACCURACIES AND TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. GM DOES NOT WARRANT THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION OR THE RELIABILITY OF ANY ADVICE, OPINION, STATEMENT OR OTHER INFORMATION DISPLAYED OR DISTRIBUTED THROUGH THIS SITE OR ANY LINKED WEB SITE. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT ANY RELIANCE ON ANY SUCH OPINION, ADVICE, STATEMENT, MEMORANDUM, OR INFORMATION SHALL BE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. GM RESERVES THE RIGHT, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, TO CORRECT ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN ANY PORTION OF THE SITE. GM MAY MAKE ANY OTHER CHANGES TO THIS SITE AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS SITE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
IN NO EVENT SHALL GM OR ANY OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY LOST PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF INFORMATION OR PROGRAMS OR OTHER DATA ON YOUR INFORMATION HANDLING SYSTEM) THAT ARE RELATED TO THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE CONTENT, MATERIALS, AND FUNCTIONS OF THIS SITE OR ANY LINKED WEB SITE, EVEN IF GM IS EXPRESSLY ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
On this website, our use of the words "expect," "anticipate," "possible," "potential," "target," "believe," "commit," "intend," "continue," "may," "would," "could," "should," "project," "projected," "positioned" or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to realize production efficiencies and to achieve reductions in costs as a result of our restructuring initiatives and labor modifications; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt, including as required to fund our planning significant investment in new technology; our ability to realize successful vehicle applications of new technology; and our ability to continue to attract new customers, particularly for our new products. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q provide information about these and other factors, which we may revise or supplement in future reports to the SEC.