GM Hit With Record (but Tiny) Fine in Ignition Case

Company agrees to pay $35M

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 16, 2014 10:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – The US government is fining General Motors $35 million for delays in recalling small cars with faulty ignition switches. The government also says that GM will report safety issues faster in the future. The fine is the maximum allowed by law and a record at that, the Detroit News reports, but it's only a fraction (a hair under 1%) of the $3.8 billion GM made last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also ordered GM to implement "significant and wide-ranging internal changes to its review of safety-related issues."

The government boasted that the fine "puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable" if they fail to report defects—as GM allegedly did for at least a decade. Automakers are required to report safety defects within five days of discovering them. GM's stock rose slightly on the announcement, Bloomberg reports. The fine is the highest ever because the max fine has increased since Toyota and Ford were each fined $17.4 million in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Regulators have asked Congress to drastically increase the cap to $300 million.

An auto worker inspects finished SUVs coming off the assembly line at the General Motors auto plant in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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