General Motors CEO Mary Barra has admitted more recalls are possible as the number one US carmaker grapples with a series of safety problems.
GM has issued 44 recalls covering about 20 million vehicles globally so far in 2014 and Barra's comments in an interview with NBC came a day after the latest announcement of a recall of 33,000 Chevrolet Cruze sedans with potentially defective airbags.
The airbags are made by troubled Japanese supplier Takata, whose product was behind Honda and Nissan’s recalls of nearly three million vehicles earlier this week due to the risk of exploding airbags that threaten to shoot plastic shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
Asked if the company would issue more recalls, Barra said, "It's possible."
"We're going to continue to look at the data that we get, and we're going to take the action that we need," she told NBC's "Today" show. "If we find an issue, we're going to deal with it."
The company has already been subjected to congressional hearings and wide media coverage in relation to a recall of older-model Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion cars with faulty ignition switches that have been linked to the deaths of 13 people.
An internal investigation found "incompetence and neglect" at the heart of the companies response to the issue and several senior figures were fired in its wake. GM is finalizing a compensation program for victims of that recall aimed at resolving injury and death cases out of court that may extend well beyond the 13 known deaths.
"We want every single person who either lost a loved one or has a serious physical injury to be a part of that program," Barra told NBC during the interview in Detroit.
Asked if GM had fired everyone it was going to fire in connection to the Cobalt recall over the defective switches, Barra said, "Yes, I believe we have."
"We've addressed the issue," she added.
But the firm may not have heard the end of this particular recall after US lawmakers yesterday made public a 2012 GM internal memo, which said the firm had tracked more than 800 incidents where air bags did not deploy in the Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt models recalled earlier this year.
There were 189 cases where front air bags failed to deploy in the 2003-2007 Ion and 626 cases in the 2005-2010 Cobalt, GM air bag engineer John Sprague told manager Doug Wachtel, noting those were "raw numbers."
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