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Barra due back before Congress next week

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GM CEO Mary Barra will be heading back to Capitol Hill next Wednesday, where she will appear before a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Committee to answer more questions about how the automaker kept defects in its ignition systems a secret for more than 10 years. Also appearing will be Attorney Anton Valukas, who issued a report on General Motors’s delayed recall of 2.6 million small cars last week. According to Valukas, the failure to recall the cars earlier was due to GM’s “dysfunctional corporate structure and misconduct or poor decision making by some personnel.” Many of these employees have since been let go, while others were “disciplined.” The defective ignition switches have been connected to at least 50 crashes and 13 deaths according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The members of the committee hope that Barra will now provide answers to many of the questions she refused to address when she appeared before Congress in April.

Mary Teresa Barra became the first female CEO of a major global automaker, when she succeeded GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson in January. During her long tenure with the company Barra has served as Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering (2008) before advancing to become Vice President of Global Human Resources (2009). In February 2011, she was named Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, with responsibilities including design and working to reduce the number of automobile platforms., as well as overseeing Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.