WASHINGTON — Congressional investigators acknowledged Thursday that they met with a suspended General Motors engineer linked to the recall of 2.6 million cars regarding a safety defect blamed for 13 deaths and 42 crashes.

After a report Wednesday night by The New York Times, a spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee said staff investigators had met with Ray DeGiorgio, who was suspended by GM on April 10, as well as other company employees.

“Over the course of our investigation our staff has met with DeGiorgio and other current and former company officials,” said committee spokeswoman Charlotte Baker. “We are continuing to conduct interviews.” She declined to provide any other details.

Interviews such as those with DeGiorgio often come just before congressional hearings, but Baker said there are no hearings on the GM recall scheduled. An Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing April 1 with GM CEO Mary Barra, who also testified April 2 before a Senate Consumer Protection subcommittee.

DeGiorgio and another GM engineer, Gary Altman, were suspended with pay in April as the company’s internal investigation continued. Congressional investigators want to know why it took until this February for GM to begin recalling affected Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other small cars when there were warning signs of an ignition switch defect dating to 2001.