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

MarketsAssociated 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.