Probe will clear GM boss - report

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IOL mot pic jun4 Mary Barra Reuters General Motors CEO Mary Barra testifying before the Senate transportation subcommittee. Picture: Gary Cameron

Washington DC - General Motors officials increasingly believe that chief executive Mary Barra will be cleared of wrongdoing in the recall crisis after a three-month internal investigation, the New York Times reports.

GM hired two law firms in March to look into its recall of millions of cars following 13 deaths related to faulty ignition switches.

The internal probe, led by Jenner & Block chairman Anton “Tony” Valukas, is expected to name executives, employees and departments within GM responsible for the delayed recall, and recommend broad corporate and personnel changes at the company.

The newspaper said Barra, who has been briefed on the investigation's progress, cleared a critical hurdle in April when the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imposed a $35 million (R377 million) fine on GM for failing to report the defect in a timely manner.

GM still faces probes by the US Department of Justice, Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several states into how it handled the issue.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg expected to provide GM with a set of options for offering financial restitution to victims of car crashes connected to the recall within the next few weeks.

In April, GM said it had retained Feinberg, who recently oversaw the BP oil spill fund, to examine what steps, if any, GM might take for families of crash victims. Safety advocates said the move indicated the company was exploring setting up a victims' compensation fund.

Feinberg told the Journal that he continued “working diligently” on the compensation recommendations and declined to provide additional details on the timing.

GM spokesman Greg Martin declined to comment on the reports.


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