• FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, General Motors CEO Mary Barra addresses the Global Business Conference for investors in Milford, Mich. Barra held a roundtable with the press on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, as she wraps up a tumultuous first year as the automaker’s CEO. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, General Motors CEO Mary Barra addresses the Global Business Conference for investors in Milford, Mich. Barra held a roundtable with the press on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, as she wraps up a tumultuous first year ... as the automaker’s CEO. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this June 18, 2014 file photo, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, CEO, left, and Jenner & Block investigator, former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, are sworn-in on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. Barra held a roundtable with the press on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, as she wraps up a tumultuous first year as the automaker’s CEO. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

    FILE - In this June 18, 2014 file photo, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, CEO, left, and Jenner & Block investigator, former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, are sworn-in on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to testifying before the House Energy and ... Commerce Committee's Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. Barra held a roundtable with the press on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, as she wraps up a tumultuous first year as the automaker’s CEO. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 2, 2014 file photo, General Motors CEO Mary Barra listens as she testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Barra held a roundtable with the press on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, as she wraps up a tumultuous first year as the automaker’s CEO.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    FILE - In this April 2, 2014 file photo, General Motors CEO Mary Barra listens as she testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Barra held a roundtable with the press on Thursday, Jan.... 8, 2015, as she wraps up a tumultuous first year as the automaker’s CEO. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (The Associated Press)

Barra calls GM recall crisis a 'great disappointment,' but sees progress in 1st year as CEO

Markets Associated Press

Mary Barra says her first year as CEO of General Motors contained both disappointment and progress, as the company recalled a record number of cars and trucks but also improved its handling of safety problems.

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Barra became the first woman to lead a major automaker last January. Almost immediately GM faced a crisis over defective ignition switches that are now linked to at least 42 deaths.

She told reporters Thursday that GM hasn't solved all of its problems, but the automaker has moved toward leadership in quality and safety.

Barra says GM will support a national database of vehicle identification numbers so automakers can quickly find owners of recalled cars. But she wouldn't say if GM will back stiffer fines or criminal penalties for executives who hide safety defects.