NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- What can you say to the families of the 13 victims who died as a result of faulty General Motors (GM - Get Report) ignition switches and airbags? What about the 31 victims of crashes?
"Sorry," just doesn't seem to cut it.
General Motors' brand new CEO Mary Barra faced members of the House and Senate at a two-day hearing that began Tuesday in response to a much-delayed recall of some 6 million vehicles.
Barra will answer a lot of question but they all boil down to one: "Why did it take so long?"
In a written statement, Barra says she doesn't have the answer for that-- but instead will tell you that GM's internal investigation will eventually flush that out. Additionally, she'll tell you how the company plans to rectify the problem.
But these words of reassurance could be a little too late for drivers.
Although the vehicles are no longer in production, prospective drivers may be rattled by the thought that the person driving a 2004 Chevy Malibu next to them on the freeway-could suddenly lose control of their vehicle and crash, due to faulty power steering.
The recall is also getting negative attention from Michigan native, Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker, who is not exactly a fan of large Detroit-based corporations. In a Facebook posting, Moore writes, "GM knew for 13 years that their cars had a defective ignition switch that would, well, kill people."
So, far investors aren't as jittered. Shares of (GM - Get Report) lost a modest 0.2% to close at $34.34. The automaker has already said it will take a charge of about $750 million against its first-quarter results to cover the recalls. That number includes $300 million already set aside for previously announced recalls.
Still unclear is whether former GM CEO Rick Wagoner will testify. Afterall, Wagoner was leading the automaker while those 6.1 million vehicles were in production under his watch. As we all know, he is no stranger to congressional hearings on Capitol Hill.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.