GM's CEO to testify before congressional committee looking at safety problems

General Motors CEO Mary Barra
Carlos Osorio, AP

General Motor Co.'s CEO Mary Barra will testify before a House subcommittee investigating the delay in recalling cars with defective ignition switches that have been linked to a dozen deaths, the panel said on Thursday.

Barra is scheduled to appear before hearing of a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 1.

The committee has also invited the acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, David Friedman, to testify on the same day.

"Their testimony is critical to understanding what the company and NHTSA knew about the safety problems, when they knew it, and what was done about it," the committee said in a statement.

"The problems originated long before Barra and Friedman took the helms of their respective organizations, but their actions and input now, as our investigation proceeds, will be essential to getting answers about what went wrong," it said. "We want to know if this tragedy could have been prevented and what can be done to ensure the loss of life due to safety failures like this don't happen again."