April 15 - General Motors' CEO Mary Barra tells auto industry insiders that she is creating a new global product integrity organization within her company, aimed at preventing safety and quality issues at the heart of a recall linked to at least 13 deaths. Conway G. Gittens reports.
High level executives at General Motors are keeping a low profile at this year's New York International Auto Show, including Chief Executive Mary Barra. But she did take the stage at a kick-off event and addressed GM's recall troubles. SOUNDBITE: MARY BARRA, CEO, GENERAL MOTORS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Today I would also like to announce the creation of a new global product integrity organization that will be part of global product development function. This new organization will be built on the formula and the very specific actions that we have taken in recent weeks and years to lead the industry when it comes to vehicle dynamics. We will mirror this approach to focus on safety performance across all our vehicles. Our goal is to ensure the highest safety of execution across every single vehicle that we put into the market place around the globe." GM is under fire from lawmakers, regulators and customers for dragging its feet on a recall of 2.6 million vehicles due to defective ignition switches. That problem has been linked to at least 13 deaths. SOUNDBITE: MARY BARRA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GENERAL MOTORS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This new way of developing vehicles will provide the highest levels of safety, quality and customer service and ensure that a situation like the ignition switch recall doesn't happen again." Later, during a barrage of questions from reporters, Barra reiterated that GM should wrap up an internal investigation as to what went wrong and why the recall took so long - no later than the end of May.