Barra at Bat: GM Chief is Hands On In Safety Inquiry

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GmIn General Motors Search For Answers, Barra Leads the Way

GM CEO Mary Barra, the first woman to lead an auto company has taken a hands-on, personal approach to finding answers and solutions in the wake of revelations that the company knew about product defects that led to fatal accidents.

Since February, information has emerged weekly about the ignition switch defect which has lead to at least 12 deaths and a lawsuit, resulting in the recall of 1.6 million cars and questions about why the automaker ignored safety concerns on the cars for a decade.

But Mary Barra has been lauded for her crisis management.  In addition to ordering internal and external investigations, additional recalls and tighter global quality controls, Barra created a new role, vice president of global vehicle safety, and appointed Jeff Boyer as its chief. Barra has also engaged her entire leadership team to address issues and has apologized to consumers and the media for GM’s actions, taking responsibility for mistakes that were made before she was in charge. In early April, Barra will also testify before a House Subcommittee as it investigates GM’s safety problems and the company’s response to the situation.

Just what a take charge woman should do.

Judy Antell, who is's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell