General Motors' CEO has met the families of some people killed in vehicles subject to one of the automaker's biggest recalls.

Mary Barra Monday evening (31 March, 2014) joined about 25 family members of victims who have lost loved ones in accidents tied to GM’s recall of nearly 2.59 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches in what was described as an emotional meeting.

According to the Detroit News, during the meeting, each of the families was given a chance to talk about their children. Some brought photographs and poems.

"Kleenex was used by everyone," including Barra, Ken Rimer, whose stepdaughter, Natasha Weigel, 18, was killed in a Chevrolet Cobalt crash in 2006 in Wisconsin, was quoted as saying.

Rimer said Barra apologised directly to the families for what had happened — something so many of them had been waiting to hear.

"She’s a parent as well," Rimer said. "You could tell it was genuine."

The meeting was estimated to have lasted about 75 minutes.

The paper said GM’s general counsel Mike Miliken and Bob Ferguson, the head of Cadillac who has been leading the company’s response in Washington, DC, also attended.

Texas lawyer Bob Hilliard, who is representing many families including the Rimers in a civil lawsuit against GM, sent Barra and GM legal counsel a letter last Saturday seeking a meeting with the families.

Earlier on Monday, the Detroit News said, Barra met with senators Richard Blumenthal and Amy Kloubuchar. Blumenthal has been an outspoken critic of Barra and has urged GM to contribute at least US$1bn to a victims’ fund.

Barra is expected to begin testimony to a US congressional committee eyeing the recall today (1 April, 2014).

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more