General Motors and the US Justice Department have reached a deal to end a government investigation into the firm’s failure to recall defective ignition switches. The faulty parts had been linked to well over 100 deaths.
GM agreed to pay $900 million (796 million euros) and signed a deferred prosecution agreement after its improper handling of an ignition-switch defect linked to 124 deaths and many injuries, Reuters reported Thursday.
The deal means that General Motors will be charged criminally with hiding the defect from regulators and in the process defrauding consumers, but the case will be put on hold as long as GM fulfills the terms of the agreement. Details on the specific terms of the deal were not provided, but are expected to be announced later this week.
Citing one of its sources, Reuters said no individuals would be charged in the criminal case.
GM knew of the ignition problem for more than a decade before it began recalling 2.6 million cars globally in February 2014. The defective switches sometimes disabled airbags and other vital functions while the car continued to run.
GM had established a special fund to compensate victims of the switch defect.
CEO Mary Barra appointed a new safety executive in 2014 and overhauled GM’s product engineering organization. She also pushed out 15 executives connected to the mishandling of the switch defect issue.
hg/tko (Reuters, AFP)