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CNBC TRANSCRIPT: DAN AKERSON, GENERAL MOTORS CEO, SPEAKS WITH CNBC'S PHIL LEBEAU TODAY ON CNBC

WHEN: TODAY, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25TH

WHERE: CNBC’S “SQUAWK ON THE STREET

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson today on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." All references must be sourced to CNBC.

LEBEAU: THANK YOU CARL. I AM JOINED BY DAN AKERSON, THE CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF GENERAL MOTORS, THE HEARING JUST WRAPPED UP AND WE HAD A CHANCE AS WE WERE WALKING HERE, WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS ACCOMPLISHED FROM THIS HEARING TODAY?

AKERSON: WELL FROM A GENERAL MOTOR’S POINT OF VIEW, WE GOT OUR POINT OF VIEW ON THE RECORD. THIS HAS BEEN A SAFE CAR, FIVE STAR RATED BY BOTH NHTSA AND THE INSURANCE INSTITUTE THAT IN A RARE INSTANCE POST CRASHED SEVENTEEN DAYS LATER WITHOUT CERTAIN PROTOCOLS THAT ARE NOW IN PLACE A FIRE OCCURRED.

LEBEAU: EXCUSE ME, BUT PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THE TIMELINE, THE FIRST FIRE REPORTED IN JUNE, NHTSA DOESN’T REPORT THE INVESTIGATION OR LAUNCH THE INVESTIGATION UNTIL NOVEMBER AFTER A REPORTER ASKS THEM ABOUT THIS. THE IMPLICATION FROM THE TIMELINE IS THAT NHTSA AND BY DEFAULT GENERAL MOTORS KNEW ABOUT THIS FIRE BUT NEVER DISCLOSED IT ON TIME. SHOULD IT HAVE BEEN DISCLOSED SOONER?

AKERSON: WELL, SUBSEQUENT TESTS, THE EXACT SAME TESTS WERE CONDUCTED AND WE COULD NOT REPLICATE IT. WE HAD TO TEAR THE OLD CAR APART THAT WAS BURNED, LOOK FOR THE ROOT CAUSE, THAT TOOK A WHILE. SUBSEQUENTLY WE EXTRACTED THE BATTERY, WE PUT IT ON ESSENTIALLY A RACK, WE IMPALED IT WITH A STEEL ROD, DRENCHED IT WITH FLUID TO GIVE AN UNREAL NONPRACTICAL APPLICATION AND THEN AGAIN IT TOOK SEVEN DAYS. SO, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS YOU HAD ANYWHERE FROM A WEEK TO THREE WEEKS TO GET OUT A CAR AFTER A SEVERE CRASH IN ORDER TO BE SAFE. I WILL TELL YOU THAT COMBUSTION ENGINE CARS HAVE THE SAME RISK.

LEBEAU: BUT SHOULD GENERAL MOTORS AND NHTSA SAID SOMETHING, EVEN IF IT IS AN EXTREME CRASH TEST, SHOULD THEY HAVE SAID SOMETHING SOONER AND SAID THERE WAS THIS FIRE, WE DO NOT BELIEVE IT HAS ANY REAL-WORLD IMPLICATIONS BUT JUST SO EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS.

AKERSON: I THINK PHIL, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND, YOU CAN HAVE A FOUL TEST SO WE ACTUALLY HAD TO FIND THE ROOT CAUSE, THEN WE HAD TO TEST IT AGAIN, WE BOTH DID, BOTH NHTSA AND GENERAL MOTORS INDEPENDENTLY, WE COULD NOT REPLICATE IT IN THE REAL WORLD. WE HAD TO PUT IT IN A LAB AND SIMULATE A REALLY SEVERE CRASH BY IMPALING IT AND ONLY THEN AFTER A WEEK AND IT WAS IMMEDIATELY DISCLOSED.

LEBEAU: YOU MENTIONED COLLATERAL DAMAGE FROM THE INVESTIGATION, FROM THE FIX, FROM ALL OF THIS PUBLICITY. HOW MUCH HAS IT HURT EITHER GENERAL MOTORS OR VOLT SALES IN YOUR OPINION?

AKERSON: WELL, ACTUALLY DECEMBER WE HAD SET A RECORD ON SALES SO IT IS OUT THERE AND I DON’T THINK IT IS A GOOD THING, BUT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO RECONSTRUCT THE IMAGE OF THE CAR. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THIS CAR IS AS SAFE AS ANY IN THE ROAD. IT IS UNFORTUNATE WE HAD TO GO THROUGH THIS BUT I KIND OF LOOK AT IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY. WE KNOW HAVE A PROTOCOL IN A POST-CRASH SCENARIO THAT THE BATTERY NOT ONLY IS IT DISCONNECTED AUTOMATICALLY UPON A CRASH, NOW THE FIRST RESPONDERS HAVE TO DEPOWER THE BATTERY. BY THE WAY, FOR A COMBUSTION CAR, FIRST RESPONDERS DISCONNECT THE 12-VOLT BATTERY AND THEY DRAIN THE TANK OF GAS.

LEBEAU: JUST SO WE CAN BE REAL CLEAR BEFORE WE WRAP THIS UP. YOU MENTIONED COLLATERAL DAMAGE BUT AT THE SAME POINT IN THE HEARING YOU MENTIONED VOLT SALES ARE IMPROVING. DO YOU EXPECT THAT TO BE BETTER SALES THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR FOR THE VOLT AND ALSO FOR GENERAL MOTORS HERE IN THE U.S.?

AKERSON: I DON’T KNOW ABOUT VOLT SALES, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT COMES AS A RESULT OF ALL THIS, BUT I THINK GENERAL MOTORS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1977 TWO YEARS SUCCESSFULLY GAINED MARKET SHARE IN THE UNITED STATES AND WE REGAINED THE NUMBER ONE POSITION ON A GLOBAL BASIS VS. TOYOTA, HONDA AND ALL THE OTHER COMPETITORS. SO NET NET, WE ARE MAKING GOOD PROGRESS, WE ARE MAKING CARS THE MARKET LOVES WHETHER IT IS THE VOLT OR ANY OTHER CAR. SO NO PROJECTIONS, BUT WE FEEL PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THINGS.

LEBEAU: GM CEO, DAN AKERSOM JOINING US EXCLUSIVELY HERE ON CNBC AFTER THE HEARING WITH THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE LOOKING INTO THE CHEVY VOLT BATTERY INVESTIGATION.

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