GM Requests SEC Extension for Filing Annual Report

General Motors said it would request an extension with securities regulators until March 16 to file its delayed annual report and fourth-quarter results.

The automaker said that it would not be able to file the 2006 financial report by the initial deadline of Thursday without "unreasonable effort or expense."

GM said that it would request the extension in a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The delay in filing its annual report was the latest accounting embarrassment for the world's largest automaker, which last year pledged to tighten its controls after restating six years of results and disclosing accounting probes by the SEC.

GM said in mid February that it had "substantially completed" a review of two accounting issues that have forced it to restate financial results back to 2002 again.

At that time, GM said it was "working toward filing" its 2006 results by the March 1 deadline, but expected to be granted an extension, if needed, to file by March 16.

GM, the world's largest automaker, delayed its filing of financial results for the fourth quarter and 2006 in part because of difficulties in preparing the balance sheet for its former financial arm GMAC as of the close of the sale of the unit.

GM sold a 51% stake in GMAC to a consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management in November for $14 billion.

On February 16, GM said it had almost completed a review of two problematic areas of its own accounting going back to 2002 -- its treatment of deferred income taxes and financial derivatives.

Neither of the changes is expected to have an impact on GM's previously reported cash flows, the automaker has said.

Separately, GMAC has said it is working on its own restatement going back to 2001 because of problems in its accounting for interest rate hedges.