GM legal chief, criticized by senators over ignition switch recall, to retire early next year

Markets Associated Press

General Motors' chief lawyer Michael Millikin, who withstood withering criticism from lawmakers for his department's handling of an ignition switch recall, is retiring early next year.

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GM says in a statement that the 66-year-old Millikin will stay on until a replacement is on the job.

During a July Senate hearing on the delayed recall of small cars with faulty switches, lawmakers demanded that Millikin be fired. One senator called the failure of GM's legal department "stunning." Millikin said he didn't learn of the problem until this year.

At least 27 people died in crashes linked to the switches. GM has admitted knowing about them a decade ago, yet it didn't recall the cars until this year.

CEO Mary Barra praised Millikin as a man of impeccable integrity and unwavering loyalty.