General Motors Agrees to Pay $900 million Over Faulty Ignition Switch Scandal
To avoid a criminal prosecution over a lethal ignition-switch failure scandal, General Motors has agreed to pay $900 million in an agreement arrived at, with the Justice Department. However, it attracted criticism from different quarters like families of the affected and the safety advocates, for the Justice Department not bringing charges against responsible individual employees. On Thursday, none of the GM employees were charged although U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that investigation was still being carried out.
An independent monitor will be appointed to supervise the handling of safety problems by GM, according to the deal with prosecutors. It the car maker complies with all the requirements then the two charges brought against the company will be dropped completely after three years. The two cases brought against the company were related to wire fraud and scheming to conceal information from government regulators.
The faulty switches could slip out of the "run" position which in turn could cut off the engine. The fatal defect has been connected to at least hundred and sixty nine deaths.
The legal and engineering staffs of GM knew about the problem and in spite of having evidence concealed the fault for almost a decade.
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