GM Hit with Federal Fines Over Ignition Switch Recall

By | April 09, 2014
If facing criminal charges and harsh public scrutiny wasn't enough, General Motors has now been slapped with a $28,000 fine. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration previously gave the automaker a 107-question query when the ignition switch recall climbed to 2.2 million vehicles. However, when GM didn't respond in what the NHTSA thought was a timely manner, it charged the company $7,000 a day. While this won't hit GM very hard financially, it shows that the NHTSA doesn’t mess around when it comes to the safety of consumers. "GM did not respond to over a third of the requests in the special order by the April 3 deadline," said NHTSA Chief Counsel Kevin Vincent in a letter that was released to the public. This latest setback adds to the overall negativity that has been flowing towards GM since this issue was brought to the public's attention. In response to the fine, GM released a statement saying "General Motors has worked tirelessly from the start to be responsive to NHTSA's special order and has fully cooperated with the agency to help it have a full understanding of the facts. GM has produced nearly 21,000 documents totaling over 271,000 pages through a production process that spans a decade and over 5 million documents from 75 individual custodians and additional sources. "Even NHTSA recognizes the breadth of its inquiry and has agreed, in several instances with GM, to a rolling production schedule of documents past the April 3 deadline. We believe that NHTSA shares our desire to provide accurate and substantive responses. We will continue to provide responses and facts as soon as they become available and hope to go about this in a constructive manner." Last week, GM CEO Mary Barra was called to give testimony in relation to the recall, although she ended up declining to answer many of the questions she was asked. Members of Congress voiced their frustrations, but Barra claimed that they were waiting for the results of an investigation by Anton Valukas before sharing any more information. This story continues to go around in circles, with all parties blaming the other, and everyone trying to cover their own skin. But there is one thing that is clear. GM didn't announce the recall in a timely manner, and the problem escalated and caused the deaths of at least 13 individuals. Stay tuned for more on this issue, as it's clearly far from over. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), General Motors