General Motors (GM) has agreed to settle a criminal investigation launched over its defective ignition switch for approximately $900 million. The company has also signed a deferred prosecution agreement.
GM will be charged for failing to notify the government about the defect, as well as defrauding consumers. However, the Justice Department did not file any specific charges against individual GM employees.
Within the agreement, GM opted to submit to independent monitoring of recalls to ensure it is in compliance with federal reporting guidelines.The company will be on what some consider probation for three years. If the auto maker cooperates with authorities during this time period, the case and charges will be dismissed.
In 2014, GM was charged $4.2 billion for costs associated with its recalls. It was also charged $35 million for failing to disclose the defect in a timely manner. The company must pay the $900 million fine in one week.
Furthermore, GM has also settled a civil class action lawsuit involving 1,400 cases of death or injuries involving recalled vehicles. GM has not disclosed the settlement amount.
Most recently, GM settled hundreds of claims filed by consumers and families who suffered as a result of the company’s defective ignition switch. The GM compensation fund approved 124 death claims and 275 automotive accident injury claims. Thousands more claims were dismissed for insufficient evidence.
In Feb. 2014, GM issued its first recall for vehicles with an ignition switch that could slip out of the run position. The fiasco snowballed and led to a record year of recalls, and fines, for the company.
The product liability attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have been monitoring the GM story since last year and believe that all victims of the company’s negligence deserve justice.
If you have been injured by a defective product, contact a top Cincinnati personal injury law firm for a free legal consultation.Contact O’Connor, Acciani & Levy.