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GM's Barra to testify to Senate again on recall scandal

General Motors chief executive Mary Barra will return to the Senate next week for a grilling over the automaker's deadly delayed recall of cars with faulty ignition switches.

WASHINGTON: General Motors chief executive Mary Barra will return to the Senate next week for a grilling over the automaker's deadly delayed recall of cars with faulty ignition switches.

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance on Tuesday said that Barra will testify on July 17, accompanied for the first time in four congressional hearings by the head of parts supplier Delphi Automotive, Rodney O'Neal.

Lawmakers are investigating the company's recall of 2.6 million cars that began only in early February, 11 years after the company discovered ignition switch problems related to dozens of accidents and at least 13 deaths.

GM, which also is under federal investigation for the delayed recall, has been hit with a $35 million fine and is facing potentially billions of dollars in compensation costs to those who suffered from the problem.

The largest US automaker since the beginning of the year has recalled some 30 million vehicles, for a number of problems including the ignition issue.

Barra previously testified to the Senate committee in an April 2 hearing that was focused on why the company had decided not to issue a safety recall in a timely manner, violating US government rules.

In next week's hearing, titled "Examining Accountability and Corporate Culture in Wake of the GM Recalls," the committee said it will focus on developments since then, including the findings of an internal GM investigation and a report on a compensation program.

Among those set to testify is Anton Valukas, who led the investigation and reported that GM had failed to see the safety implications of the switch problem but no senior management were involved in covering it up.

Kenneth Feinberg, the compensation expert GM hired to organize payouts to victims, has also been scheduled. Feinberg announced on June 30 that GM has set no compensation cap for the victims of car accidents related to the faulty ignition switches.

Barra has testified in two House of Representatives hearings this year, on April 1 and June 18.

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