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GM CEO Mary Barra Doesn't Expect More Firings in Ignition Crisis

A handout picture provided by General Motors (GM) shows GM CEO Mary Barra provides an update on the ignition switch recall investigation during a employee meeting at the GM Vehicle Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan, 05 June 2014. An internal investigation of a deadly flaw in ignition switches has led GM to fire key employees in the case, but chief executive Mary Barra was cleared of wrongdoing, the carmaker said. In all, 15 employees were fired or left the company over their actions regarding a safety flaw in ignition switches. The problem has been linked to at least 13 deaths, in many cases when the ignition switch failure kept airbags from deploying in collisions. The switch was present in about 2.6 million smaller cars produced during the last decade, most prominently the Chevrolet Cobalt.
A handout picture provided by General Motors (GM) shows GM CEO Mary Barra provides an update on the ignition switch recall investigation during a employee meeting at the GM Vehicle Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan, 05 June 2014. An internal investigation of a deadly flaw in ignition switches has led GM to fire key employees in the case, but chief executive Mary Barra was cleared of wrongdoing, the carmaker said. In all, 15 employees were fired or left the company over their actions regarding a safety flaw in ignition switches. The problem has been linked to at least 13 deaths, in many cases when the ignition switch failure kept airbags from deploying in collisions. The switch was present in about 2.6 million smaller cars produced during the last decade, most prominently the Chevrolet Cobalt. STEVE FECHT / GM via EPA

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General Motors CEO Mary Barra said Tuesday that she does not expect the company to fire more employees over defective ignition switches blamed for 13 deaths.

GM announced last week that 15 workers, including some executives, had been shown the door. It took the company more than a decade to start recalling cars because of the problem. An internal investigation cited a pattern of “misconduct or incompetence.”

“We feel we’ve taken the appropriate actions as it relates to the ignition switch recall,” Barra told reporters Tuesday at the GM annual meeting.

She repeated that the company expects to issue more recalls. GM has recalled 2.6 million cars because they may have bad switches, which can slip out of the on position while the car is on the road, causing a stall.

Barra and other GM executives took questions from stockholders. Of seven who asked questions, none had significant criticism of how the company handled the matter last week, and most praised Barra’s leadership.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who called in to urge more minority representation in the company, also gave Barra good marks: “You faced a crisis with integrity and courage and transparency and contrition.”

— Erin McClam

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