GM’s Batey Says Company Successful in Transparency on Recall

General Motors Co. has been successful in providing transparency about a recall of 2.59 million vehicles linked to the deaths of at least 13 people, a senior executive said.

“We need to be very transparent and stay to the facts and really put that out there and we’ve done that successfully,” Alan Batey, president of GM North America and head of the company’s Chevrolet brand, told analysts at a forum held by Bank of America Merrill Lynch today in New York.

While struggling to contain a growing crisis over its slow response to flawed ignition switches that led to the deaths, the biggest U.S. automaker is also trying to garner attention for new vehicles. Yesterday, the company showed the Chevrolet Trax sport-utility vehicle at a press conference on the eve of the New York International Auto Show.

Batey focused his presentation on Detroit-based GM’s new pickups, including the redesigned light-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. He pointed to data showing the average transaction prices of those full-size, light-duty trucks increasing almost $3,000 to $35,652 in the first quarter, from the same period a year ago. Light-duty Silverado pricing improved by $6,000 to $36,431, helped by a richer mix of higher end models being sold.

While he tried to stay away from the recall issue, Batey reiterated that GM has started shipping replacement parts and is doing repairs.

Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra is under pressure after being grilled at U.S. congressional hearings on April 1 and 2, and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week it’s fining GM $7,000 a day for failing to respond to one-third of requests for information about the recall by an April 3 deadline.

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