DETROIT -- General Motors' chief executive, Mary Barra, told employees Monday that "something went very wrong" in the company's decadelong failure to recall 1.6 million vehicles for a defect linked to 12 deaths.
In a video message, Barra said the automaker was moving aggressively to produce new parts for the affected vehicles, and she vowed to change GM's internal procedures to prevent delays in future recalls. "Something went very wrong in our processes in this instance, and terrible things happened," Barra said.
GM has come under intense pressure to explain why it took years to address problems with ignition switches that could cut off engine power and disable air bags in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars.
Meanwhile, GM issued a new recall of 1.5 million vehicles Monday:
1.18 million SUVs because their side air bags, front center air bags and seat belt pretensioners might not deploy if drivers ignore an air bag warning light on their dashboard. The recall includes the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia from the 2008-2013 model years; the Chevrolet Traverse from the 2009-2013 model years; and the Saturn Outlook from the 2008-2010 model years.
303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans from the 2009-2014 model years because the material on the instrument panel might not adequately protect unbelted passengers' heads in a crash.
63,900 Cadillac XTS sedans from the 2013 and 2014 model years because a plug in the brake assembly can get dislodged and short, increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire.
GM says it has received no reports of injuries related to any of the three new recalls. But that contradicts publicly available complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers of the SUVs have reported seven injuries to NHTSA because their air bags didn't deploy.