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GM officials expect internal probe to exonerate Mary Barra - NYT

June 4 (Reuters) - General Motors Co officials increasingly believe that Chief Executive Mary Barra will be cleared of wrongdoing in the recall crisis after a three-month internal investigation, the New York Times reported.

GM hired two law firms in March to look into its recall of millions of cars following 13 deaths related to faulty ignition switches.

The internal probe, led by Jenner & Block Chairman Anton "Tony" Valukas, is expected to name executives, employees and departments within GM responsible for the delayed recall, and recommend broad corporate and personnel changes at the company.

Barra, who has been briefed on the investigation's progress, cleared a critical hurdle last month when the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imposed a $35 million fine on GM for failing to report the defect in a timely manner, the newspaper said, citing company officials. (http://r.reuters.com/hyz79v)

GM still faces probes by the U.S. Department of Justice, Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and several states about how it handled the issue.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg expects within the next few weeks to provide GM with a set of options for offering financial restitution to victims of car crashes connected to the recall. (http://r.reuters.com/cab89v)

In April, GM said it retained Feinberg, who recently oversaw the BP oil spill fund, to examine what steps, if any, GM might take for families of crash victims. Safety advocates said the move indicated the company was exploring setting up a victims' compensation fund.

Feinberg told the Journal that he continues "working diligently" on the compensation recommendations and declined to provide additional details on the timing.

GM spokesman Greg Martin declined to comment on the reports.

(Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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