GM to Pay $900 Million For Faulty Ignition Switch Cover-up

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
gm to pay 900 million for faulty ignition switch cover up

Two sources have told Reuters that the government will levy a $900 million fine on General Motors for its failure to recall and subsequent attempts to cover-up of faulty ignition switches linked to at least 124 deaths.

Criminal charges will be filed against GM for its role in hiding the defect from regulators, but will defer prosecution while the automaker complies with its penalty. The agreement is expected to be announced Thursday.

The massive fine is smaller than the $1.2 billion Toyota paid in March 2014 for its role in concealing that its cars could accelerate suddenly. Details about the settlement weren’t immediately available. GM may avoid prosecution by complying with the terms set out by the Department of Justice, Reuters reported.

GM still faces more than 200 civil lawsuits connected to the faulty ignition switch. More than a decade ago, engineers learned that ignition switches installed in models of the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, Saturn Sky and Ion, and Pontiac G5 and Solstice could stall and prevent the airbags from being deployed in a crash. Engineers failed to recall, then covered up, and failed to acknowledge the scope of the problem.

In all, 124 deaths and 274 injuries were linked to the switch that cost about $1 to replace.

The case against GM has significantly changed a once-cozy relationship that automakers had with government oversight bureaus.

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16 of 24 comments
  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Sep 17, 2015

    "...Toyota paid in March 2014 for its role in concealing that its cars could accelerate suddenly." I wish my Sonata could accelerate suddenly. :P

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Sep 17, 2015

    Settlements, fines and judgments, even multibillion dollar ones, are simply license fees, costs of doing business. Stiff executive jail terms are much more likely to permanently correct an issue.

  • RRocket RRocket on Sep 17, 2015

    Toyota: Verifiable deaths due to UA : 0 Fine $1.2 Billion GM: Verifiable deaths due to ignition fault: 150+ Fine $900 million Government motors at work....

    • See 7 previous
    • CJinSD CJinSD on Sep 19, 2015

      @highdesertcat I drove my friend to an LA Honda dealer to pick up a rare color/manual transmission combination that a salesman confirmed was in stock. He had an appointment to pick up the car. When we got there, the dealer had the same inventory as all of our local dealers. Supposedly, the car had been sold out from under my friend, but some digging on Honda's inventory system showed it hadn't existed. There really aren't any good enough reasons to go to LA. I think that was my last trip there, and it was in 2012. The Kearney Mesa Honda dealer, Pacific Honda, is where he ended up getting his car. It wasn't the color he wanted, but why exactly the LA Democrat thought he would buy the same car after getting lied to and making a 250 mile round trip is beyond me. We made a point of scaring a few other customers off the lot while we were in HellA too. Pacific Honda used to give great service, but when the economy got bad they tried making up for lost sales with expensive service. I haven't used them in years.

  • Voyager Voyager on Sep 19, 2015

    Can someone tell me the reason why Toyota had to pay a higher fine? Or GM that low a fine?

    • CJinSD CJinSD on Sep 19, 2015

      Because we have a government of corrupt people instead of laws under the Obama regime.