WALL STREET JOURNAL – General Motors faced new pressure from a powerful member of Congress to explain why it took nearly a decade to recall 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignitions linked to 13 deaths, even as the auto maker hired a high-profile lawyer to lead its internal investigation and stepped up warnings to customers.

Late Monday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee said it would launch an investigation into the slow recall and hold hearings.

The committee’s chairman, Michigan Republican Fred Upton, was the lead sponsor of the last comprehensive piece of auto safety legislation enacted by Congress, the TREAD Act of 2000.