Rep. Lee Terry has issued an apology for his attempt at a joke.
The congressman explained that he arrived late to a Tuesday congressional committee hearing because of mechanical issues on his plane. He then added "probably an ignition switch."
The hearing was held to question General Motors officials about faulty car ignition switches responsible for at least 13 deaths. Some family members of those killed in defective GM cars were present at the hearing.
The comment drew widespread criticism and Terry apologized later that day in a statement. He said he had no intention of being insensitive and that "we are all human and are all capable of making mistakes."