General Motors reaches a settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the company agreeing to pay $900 million to end a criminal inquiry into its failure to recall vehicles with faulty ignitions. The fault, which could shut down engines, disable power-assisted steering and brakes and prevent airbags working, has been linked to more than 100 confirmed deaths. An independent monitor will also be appointed at the company. The car maker admitted it did not alert regulators and the public, and did not begin recalling cars worldwide until early 2014, after years of avoiding any acknowledgement of the problem. The number of recalled cars rose to nearly 30 million by the end of 2014. US Attorney’s Office:
[GM] admits that it failed to disclose a safety defect to NHTSA and misled US consumers about that same defect.
CEO Barra says that the company’s engineers, managers and workers who identify a problem must come forward or they will be held responsible.:
Reaching an agreement with the Justice Department does not mean we are putting the issue behind us. Our mission has been to take the difficult lessons from this experience and use them to improve our company. We’ve come a long way and we will continue to build on our progress.
The office of attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing victim compensation on GM’s behalf, says the death toll from General Motors’ defective ignition switch has risen by four from a week earlier to 84. The office has also processed 157 injury claims, combination of claims for serious injuries and claims for less severe injuries, as of April 10. Eleven claims were categorized as serious injuries resulting in quadriplegia, paraplegia, double amputation, permanent brain damage or pervasive burn. The remaining 146 claims were for less serious injuries requiring hospitalization or outpatient medical treatment within 48 hours of the accident. Feinberg’s office received 4,342 claims. Of those claims, 241 have been deemed eligible. Feinberg’s office is still reviewing another 1,136 claims.
The company recalls 221,558 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans because the brake pads can stay partially engaged even when they’re not needed, increasing the risk of a fire. The recall involves Cadillacs from the 2013-2015 model years and Impalas from the 2014 and 2015 model years. There are 205,309 vehicles affected in the U.S, and the rest of the vehicles are in Canada and elsewhere. Right now, there are no known injuries from this defect, and the company will notify owners of the vehicles involved and repair the problem for free.
A representative of General Motors says they are testing three pairs of Glass to see what uses it has in their manufacturing process. He says about a dozen employees have used Glass on the factory floor and they may expand the project in the future:
We’ve barely touched the frontier of what this type of technology can provide to manufacturing.
The automaker says monthly sales rose 1% from a year earlier; it’s best performance for June sales since 2007.
GM recalls 7.6 million vehicles in the US and a total of 8.4 million vehicles worldwide because of faulty ignition switches. With this most recent announcement, the cost related to recalls increased from 500 million to $1.2 billion this quarter. Attorney Keven Feinberg has been retained by the company to develop a victim compensation plan.
General Motors announces four recalls of nearly 430,000 vehicles in the United States, involving the air bag inflators in Chevrolet Cruze sedans in the 2013-2014 model year. GM’s Chief Executive Mary Barra:
We’re going to continue to look at the data that we get, and we’re going to take the action that we need. If we find an issue, we’re going to deal with it.