Federal safety regulators said on Wednesday that General Motors no longer has to pay a $7,000 daily fine for its failure to supply required documents about the defective ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths.
GM, the No. 1 U.S. automaker, will pay about $430,000 in cumulative fines for not meeting the safety agency's April 3 deadline to answer 107 questions about its recall of 2.6 million vehicles because of the faulty switch.
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By Friday, GM must also pay a record $35 million fine that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied last month for the company's delay in catching the defective switch.
Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
American flags wave outside the General Motors headquarters in Detroit. GM no longer has to pay a $7,000 daily fine to the federal traffic safety agency.
GM spokesman Greg Martin confirmed the daily fines had ended and the company would pay the $35 million fine "under the terms of the consent order."
Since early this year, the Detroit automaker has been enveloped in a scandal over why it took more than a decade to begin recalling low-cost Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars with ignition-switch problems that were causing the vehicles to stall during operation.When the engines stalled, air bags failed to deploy during crashes - some of them fatal - and drivers struggled to control their vehicles as power steering and brake systems malfunctioned.
The NHTSA began fining GM on April 4 and ended the penalties on June 5, when the Detroit automaker turned over an internal report on where it had fallen short in catching the defective switch, a NHTSA spokeswoman said. GM dismissed 15 employees and disciplined five others for their roles in the crisis.
First published June 11 2014, 8:22 AM