DETROIT -- In the wake of last month's recall of 1.6 million 2003-07 small cars worldwide for an ignition switch defect linked to 12 deaths, General Motors seemed determined to insulate itself from the fallout by characterizing the delayed response as symptomatic of the old GM's problems.
"Today's GM," North American boss Alan Batey said in a contrite statement then, "is committed to doing business differently and better."
But by last week, it became clear that GM's executives weren't satisfied with the new GM's approach to safety either. CEO Mary Barra, signaling a need for more urgency and accountability within the company, vowed renewed vigilance on safety on the same day the company announced three recalls simultaneously for full-sized vans, large crossovers and the Cadillac XTS sedan.
The additional recalls, she said, were the result of a stepped-up review of pending safety issues.
"Our system for deciding and managing recalls is going to change because of this," Barra said in a video message to employees. "And we are using this opportunity to change much more about our business."