(Adds GM comment in last paragraph)
WASHINGTON, June 11 General Motors Co
Chief Executive Mary Barra will testify on June 18 at a U.S.
House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the automaker's
defective ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13
deaths, the subcommittee said on Wednesday.
Barra and former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas, who
headed the company's internal investigation into the faulty
part, will be the only witnesses at the hearing, the House
oversight and investigations subcommittee said in a news
"Mr. Valukas' exhaustive report revealed disturbing truths
about GM's systemic and cultural failures that allowed this
problem to go undiagnosed for over a decade, but many questions
remain unanswered about the recalls and resulting changes within
the company," Representative Fred Upton, the full committee's
chairman, and the subcommittee's chairman Representative Tim
Murphy said in a statement.
Since early this year, the Detroit automaker has been
enveloped in a scandal over why it took more than a decade to
begin recalling low-cost Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and
other cars with ignition-switch problems that were causing the
vehicles to stall during operation.
When the engines stalled, air bags failed to deploy during
crashes - some of them fatal - and drivers struggled to control
their vehicles as power steering and brake systems
Barra testified at a subcommittee hearing in April and
deflected many of the questions, saying she was awaiting the
results of the Valukas probe.
GM fired 15 employees last week and disciplined five others
for their handling of the recall after the release of the
internal report, which said top GM officials, including Barra,
knew few details about the defective switches.
GM said Barra wants to update Congress on the actions the
company has taken in response to the switch recall crisis,
including fixing the failures outlined in the company's internal
report, announcing plans to establish a victims' compensation
fund and setting up a structure at the company to ensure vehicle
(Reporting by Eric Beech, additional reporting by Ben Klayman
in Detroit; Editing by Sandra Maler and Chizu Nomiyama)