GM CEO Mary Barra returns to Washington on Wednesday

Prepared remarks suggest what Barra is expected to tell Congress

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - After 44 recalls -- the last just announced Monday -- General Motors CEO Mary Barra heads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning for what is expected to be a congressional grilling.

Local 4 learned Tuesday night what Barra intends to tell lawmakers about GM's mishandling of the ignition switch recall, which has already netted the company a $35 million fine.

The last time Barra went to Washington it was for hearings in both the House and the Senate - neither was pleasant.

Wednesday promises to be more of the same, but what Barra is expected to do is what she's done all along: Own it.

A copy of her prepared remarks shows Barra is going to tell Congress she's making needed changes to a company where its culture is as much to blame for that defective ignition switch as poor engineering.

Barra will emphasize that 15 people have been fired because of the ignition switch mess and that GM is undergoing the most exhaustive safety review for all vehicles in company history.

A victim's compensation fund is being set up and expects to start processing claims by Aug. 1.

Lawmakers were not too pleased last time when she deferred answering questions, citing an internal investigation that was not complete. Now it is and she'll tell them:

"I never want anyone associated with GM to forget what happened. I want this terrible experience permanently etched in our collective memories. This isn't just another business challenge. This is a tragic problem that never should have happened and it must never happen again."

Complete coverage: GM ignition switch recall investigation

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