GM to pay $35 Million Over Delayed Recall
General Motors agreed to pay a $35 million fine to settle a federal probe into the 10-year delay of its ignition switch recall, federal safety regulators announced Friday.
GM had already admitted that its employees knew of problems with the ignition switch as early as 2004. The flaw caused some cars to shut off while driving, disabling airbags, anti-lock brakes and power steering. It has been tied to at least 13 deaths. But GM (GM, Fortune 500) did not start recalling the 2.6 million cars with the ignition problems until this February.
The settlement also calls for GM to make internal changes that regulators say will help it do a better job of detecting safety problems with its cars.
Since the recall problem became public, GM has created a position of vice president for global vehicle safety and hired 35 to 40 more safety investigators.
“We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. “We will emerge from this situation a stronger company.”