GM Delays March Auto Sales Numbers Citing Computer Issue

General Motors World Headquarters
General Motors Co. world headquarters stands in Detroit, Michigan. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

General Motors Co., which has recalled 2.6 million small cars since February because of ignition issues tied to 13 deaths, today said its March auto-sales data will be delayed because of a systems issue.

The largest U.S. automaker, which usually issues its sales data at 9:30 a.m., said the data won’t be released until this afternoon due “to a computer systems issue that impacted dealer sales reporting.” GM expects to report before the close of business, the automaker said in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra today is to begin two days of testimony about the recall issue in Washington before House and Senate panels looking into why it took years for the automaker to recall the cars after knowing there was a defect. The company has hired its own investigators to determine what went wrong. And the Justice Department is also probing the automaker’s actions for possible criminal prosecution, according to a person familiar with the matter.

On Feb. 13, Detroit-based GM announced a safety action that covered 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s. The recall was widened less than two weeks later by more than 800,000 additional vehicles and last week by 971,000 newer small cars that may have had a bad switch installed as a replacement part.

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