CEO: GM changing recall process after 'terrible things occurred'

DETROIT, March 17 (Reuters) - General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra on Monday acknowledged that the No. 1 U.S. automaker fell short in catching the faulty ignition switches linked to 12 deaths and said the company has already made changes to how it will handle future recalls.

"Something went wrong with our process in this instance, and terrible things occurred," she told employees in a video message posted online.

Barra previously apologized for how GM's failure to catch the defective ignition switches sooner and promised an "unvarnished" look at the process, while promising to put customers first.

On Monday, Barra said GM's system for managing its recalls would change and pointed to three new recalls announced on Monday affecting more than 1.5 million vehicles as an example of that.

"We are conducting an intense review of our internal processes," she said, adding the company was focused on the ignition-switch recall at the highest levels. Barra said the company's apology was "one step in the journey to resolve" the recall.

The ignition-switch recall has led to government criminal and civil investigations, an internal probe by GM and preparations for hearings by Congress. All ask why GM took so long to address a problem it has said first came to its attention in 2001.

Barra said on Monday that it was working with the supplier of the ignition switches, Delphi Automotive, to add a second production line for replacement parts.