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.