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The U.S. Department of Transportation has given General Motors a $35 million fine, the maximum allowed by law, for its ignition switch recall and failing to report the defect in a timely matter.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the nation’s largest automaker agreed to make changes in the investigation process and its response to safety complaints, notes The Wall Street Journal.
GM ended up recalling over 2.6 million compact cars with the defect, which was linked to 13 deaths. There is evidence that GM knew about the defect for nearly a decade before it finally issued the recall in February. Following that, GM began issuing a series of recalls on other vehicles, including five recalls just yesterday that affected 2.7 million vehicles. Overall, GM’s recent recalls this year have affected over 13 million vehicles.
“Safety is our top priority, and today’s announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Friday, reports The New York Times.
GM is still under investigation by the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also fining GM $7,000 a day after it skipped an April deadline to answer questions from regulators, notes the WSJ.