NHTSA Drops $35M Hammer On GM Over Delayed Recall

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
nhtsa drops 35m hammer on gm over delayed recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has spoken: General Motors will pay the maximum fine of $35 million for its decade-plus delay of the recall of 2.6 million vehicles affected by an out-of-spec ignition switch linked to over 30 accidents and 13 fatalities.

Automotive News reports that in GM’s consent decree with the NHTSA, it admitted to breaking federal law with its handling of the recall process over the part, and will give federal regulators full access to findings from its internal investigations over the matter.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx proclaimed today’s announcement “puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects.” GM CEO Mary Barra added in a separate statement that her company has learned several lessons from the recall, lessons which will be applied toward its goal of “becoming an industry leader in safety.”

Additionally, GM must notify the NHTSA whenever it makes any change to its production schedule for replacement ignition switches, and to put forth a full effort to bring in the biggest number of affected consumers to its dealership network, including outreach through the Internet and to non-English speakers.

Finally, GM will also submit to periodic reviews with the agency in the latter’s monitoring of both the recall and other actions.

NHTSA consent order to GM

Join the conversation
7 of 33 comments
  • Crosley Crosley on May 16, 2014

    So a little less than $14 per car. What a joke.

    • See 1 previous
    • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on May 16, 2014

      @Old Man Pants Cast thine eyes upward: And the Lord sayeth: "The fine shall not be $20 million nor shall it be $40 million, but $35 million seems just about right in the eyes of the Lord..."

  • 50merc 50merc on May 16, 2014

    Any word yet on why GM stopped using the 2004-and-earlier switch that apparently was trouble-free?

  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on May 17, 2014

    As someone who has personally seen how a major automaker treats their customers badly and ignores or does not handle a potentially dangerous situation correctly, I think the fines should be $350 million. Better yet, do like China and arrest or execute the people in charge, bet these issues would drastically drop. I really feel disgusted that I went to bat for GM during the bailout and argued for their survival, they should have been left to die like they deserved.

    • Challenger2012 Challenger2012 on May 17, 2014

      @Venom12 What you describe is how the Big 3 looked upon cars years ago. Cars were what pussies drove. The Big 3 could not have cared any less. I am here to tell you, if the issue were with pick-up trucks, it would have been resolved ASAP. GM, Ford and Chrysler are not the same companies they were 10 years ago. For example: look at the cars they all make, some are world class i.e. Ford Fusion, Chevy Impala and GM SUV's and Trucks are among the best, heck Ford's, GM's and Chrysler's Trucks are all good. How many people reading these words would choose a Nissan Titian over any Big 3 truck? The past wrongs have to be righted, but all of the Big 3 are headed in the right direction.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 17, 2014

    GM is avoiding personal lawsuits by claiming it's "old" GM's problem, why didn't they claim the same thing with the NHTSA? I suspect this consent decree was privately negotiated, with GM using it to put the issue behind it at minimal cost, while the "government" distances itself from the term "government motors". It's a win-win deal.