Executive Vice President
General Motors has agreed to pay a fine in the amount of $900 million to resolve federal criminal cases pending against the company relating to deaths caused by an ignition switch defect in many of their vehicles. The payment would see the criminal charges of wire fraud and scheming to conceal information from government regulators, which are pending against the company, dropped in three years if GM cooperates. The company also reached a settlement of $575 million to resolve many of the civil claims stemming from the same defect.
The faulty ignition switch went into production in 2002. Reports indicate the company was made aware of the defect as early as 2004; however, it seems GM ignored the issue. In 2012, GM again faced complaints over the switch and still refused to fix it. GM proceeded to recall millions of vehicles in 2014, including Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions, to fix the issue. To date, the faulty ignition switch has been linked to 169 deaths nationwide.
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