NHTSA fining GM $7,000 a day for violation of Special Order

NHTSA fining GM $7,000 a day for violation of Special OrderIn a letter written to General Motors (GM) on Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that the automaker is being fined $7,000 a day for its "failure to fully respond" to the 107 questions which federal auto safety regulators had asked in connection with the ignition-switch recall.

The NHTSA said in the letter that GM has failed to fully comply with a Special Order demanding answers to the exhaustive list of questions related to the company's delayed recall of cars with ignition-switch defect. The agency also said that the fine imposed on GM is retroactive to the April 3 deadline which the company missed.

Although GM had submitted over 200,000 pages of documents to the NHTSA on Friday, the Special Order required the company to respond to all the 107 questions, and also submit documents to support those responses, by April 3.

With GM facing multiple federal investigations into the ignition-switch defect linked to 13 deaths, the NHTSA chief counsel O. Kevin Vincent said in the sharply-worded letter that the automaker failed to answer "over a third" of the questions posed by the safety regulators.

Since GM had cited an ongoing internal probe - led by former federal prosecutor Anton Valukas - as the reason behind its failure to submit a full response to the NHTSA's questions, Vincent said: "Mr. Valukas' investigation is irrelevant to GM's legal obligation to timely respond to the Special Order and fully cooperate with NHTSA."