Federal regulations require auto manufacturers to inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other government agencies of defects that could put consumers at risk. These laws are in place to prevent incidents like the GM ignition recall accidents that led to more than a dozen fatalities and hundreds of injuries.
General Motors Corp. (GM) has accepted responsibility for their part in causing these accidents by agreeing to deferred prosecution in federal court. According to a press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, made the announcement on Sept. 17, along with several stipulations to the agreement.
The company was required to admit that they failed to inform the NHTSA of the problem with the ignition switches in several different makes and models of vehicles. Furthermore, the company conceded that they misled consumers in the U.S. about an issue where ignition switches could turn to the off position while vehicles were in motion and complications this may cause with braking and airbag deployment.
The agreement stipulates that GM will forfeit $900 million.
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