GM Facing Federal Criminal Investigation for Ignition Switch Recall

GM Knew About Ignition Issues 10 Years Before Recall

The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation of General Motors to determine what laws the automaker may have broken leading up to last month’s ignition switch recall. According to Reuters, Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is collecting evidence against the automaker, which admitted it had taken at least 10 years to fix defects that led to cars shutting down without warning.

At least 13 people have died in 31 crashes in part because of safety equipment that was disabled when the engine shut down. No official documents or specific legal charges are known to be filed. The federal case piles on top of a separate investigation into GM by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, forthcoming subpoenas to GM and NHTSA from a Congressional committee, and GM’s internal investigation.

Bharara is finishing a four-year criminal case against Toyota that could potentially cost the automaker more than $1 billion. The Justice Department brought Toyota to court alleging the company misled federal agencies against potential defects with floor mats and unintended acceleration, despite the government’s conclusion that the 10.2 million recalled vehicles in the U.S. had no technical faults.

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Written by Lewis Shaw

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