GM Hit With Historic Fine For Recall Inaction - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

GM Hit With Historic Fine For Recall Inaction

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(WLNS) - The U.S. Department of Transportation hands down the harshest penalty they can under Federal law to General Motors.

The company is linked to 13 deaths for faulty ignition switches.

Now transportation officials say this should be a lesson to automakers nationwide.

The Department of Transportation says it's an expensive and historic penalty.

"For failing to announce a safety defect in a timely manner, General Motors has agreed to pay $35 Million civil penalty."

The highest penalty under federal law and the largest ever handed to an auto company for a recall.

"Since at least February of 2009 has had information on ignition switch problems with airbags failing to deploy, they had that information and they told nobody."

It's no surprise David Friedman says that GM has agreed to pay up as the evidence that was collected he describes as deeply disturbing.

"GM engineers knew about the defect, GM investigators knew about the defect, GM lawyers knew about the defect, but GM did not act," said David Friedman, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Along with the cash fine GM's future safety reporting will be held to a strict standard.

"It also commits GM to unprecedented and reporting to NITSA of safety issues under consideration by the company"

for up to three years.

"We want to make sure that all auto manufactures and suppliers here the clear message that they must react immediately to potential safety defects"

And if legislation on Capitol Hill is approved violators could see that penalty climb to $300 Million to make all automakers and suppliers know if they violate safety requirements they will pay.

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