June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

GM: No plans to fire additional employees

Mary Barra. (Cliff Owen / AP)

General Motors CEO Mary Barra says she plans no more firings in connection with the company’s investigation into its delayed recall of 2.6 million cars with potentially dangerous ignition systems.

After an internal investigation led by a former U.S. attorney that found a “pattern of incompetence and neglect,” Barra fired 15 employees — including a company vice president overseeing regulatory issues, and several GM lawyers — and disciplined five.

The problem has been linked to 13 deaths and 54 crashes.

In an interview on NBC’s Today Show Thursday, Barra was asked if she planned to fire anyone else. “I believe we have fired everyone,” she said.

And when asked if criminal actions took place at GM, Barra declined to speculate. “In this case we failed our customers, we failed them with these vehicles,” Barra said. “The criminal aspect — I think that’s for the courts to decide.”

She declined to directly answer if more recalls are planned but conceded it’s possible. Barra also reiterated her belief that there was no coverup at GM.

Asked if the 13 reported deaths could rise, Barra said, “I think people have misunderstood: The 13 were when we first looked into this issue and looked at things that could be related to this defect. Our compensation program that we’re doing — we want every single person who either lost or had a serious physical injury to be a part of that program because we want to do the right thing.”

Last week, she told Congress that GM had only tied 13 deaths to the defect.

She said Thursday it’s “absolutely not true” that GM made her CEO in January because she was a woman, in order to put a softer face on the company as it goes through the massive recall crisis.

DShepardson@detroitnews.com