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Rick Shapiro
Rick Shapiro
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GM Fined Paltry $28,000 For Iginition Switch Defect

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General Motors (GM) was recently fined a paltry $28,000 by federal safety regulators because the company failed to provide requested information regarding a recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles that have an ignition defect that GM linked to 13 deaths.

In March 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demanded GM answer 107 questions relating to why the company knew about the ignition defect as far back as 2001…but the recall was only initiated in February of 2014.

The cars in question contain a faulty ignition switch that can potentially turn off while driving which shuts down the engine while also disabling the air bags. The deadline for GM to answers the question was April 3, 2014. For each day that GM failed to provide the requested information, it was fined $7,000, with the most recent total being $28,000.

The fine is a drop in the bucket for the auto giant when compared to the safety risks posed by the defect and the 13 lives lost.

NHTSA stated that if the automaker fails to provide the requested information immediately, it might refer the matter to the Justice Department for a civil action to “compel” them to comply.

Why the delay in disclosure on GM’s part? Good question. It’s likely due to the fact that nothing good can come from revealing just how long the company knew of this ignition defect. GM and its team of attorneys will likely continue to obfuscate and skirt around the central issue – how and why did the company delay in recalling millions of vehicles that had a dangerously defective ignition switch?