GM 'focused on righting' ship at self-driving Cruise unit -CEO

FILE PHOTO: General Motors CEO Mary Barra speaks during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan,September 13, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

DETROIT (Reuters) -General Motors CEO Mary Barra said on Monday the Detroit automaker is "very focused on righting the ship" at Cruise, its troubled self-driving unit but said it did not plant to say how much it will spend until its completes a pair of reviews.

Barra said at a media event an ongoing outside external safety review will guide the company's path forward and is expected to be completed in early 2024.

"We'll work through the challenges we have right now at Cruise," Barra said. "We have to have the right plan."

She declined to offer an opinion on whether she thought regulators have treated Cruise more harshly than Tesla Autopilot. She also declined to say how much money GM is willing to spend on Cruise going forward until it completes its assessments and has a plan to move ahead.

"We'll talk about the funding necessary" at that point, she added.

Last month, Cruise paused all driverless and supervised car trips in the United States and expanded a safety review of its robotaxis, after California regulators suspended the company's ability to conduct self-driving testing on public roads following an Oct. 2 crash in which a pedestrian was dragged 20 feet by a self-driving vehicle after being struck by another vehicle.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Friday ordered Cruise to appear at a Feb. 6 hearing for "misleading the Commission through omission regarding the extent and seriousness of the accident" and "making misleading public comments regarding its interactions with the commission."

(Reporting by Joseph White and David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates)

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