Recently Justice Department investigators identified criminal wrongdoing in General Motors’ failure to disclose a defect tied to at least 104 deaths, according to The NY Times. According to sources of the New York Times, General Motors is negotiating what is expected to be a record penalty. Negotiations are still ongoing and the dollar amount is yet to be determined, but it is expected to surpass the $1.2 billion paid last year by Toyota for concealing unintended acceleration problems. If this penalty were to exceed Toyota’s penalty from last year, it would be the largest against any automaker by the Justice Department.
General Motors has been eager to resolve this issue and end the civil and criminal investigations. This is a strategy that last year Toyota chose to avoid, as they fought the prosecutors. GM's eagerness is expected to earn GM cooperation credit, which could ultimately lead to a smaller penalty.
In February 2014, GM began recalling around 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars with faulty ignitions. These faulty ignitions could unexpectedly turn off the engine, disabling power steering, power breaks, and the airbags. Last year G.M. recalled more than 30 million vehicles, which is a company record. Ultimately motor vehicle defects like these can lead to serious injuries for car crash victims.
Last year General Motors spent an estimated $3 billion on recalls, as well $600 million to compensate ignition switch-related accident victims and their families. In addition to this, they also paid the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a penalty of $35 million, as they failed to report the switch recall in a timely manner.
In cars, faults like these happen frequently, which can then unfortunately lead to auto accidents and traumatic injuries in some cases.
If you have been injured in a car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our accident attorneys are standing by to help you with questions about insurance problems, medical expenses, and pain and suffering benefits as allowed by Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.