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GM Confirms Justice, SEC Probes on Ignition Recalls

General Motors confirmed it is being investigated by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its massive recalls of cars over ignition switch defects linked to 13 deaths, according to a recent filing.

GM disclosed in a quarterly report that the Securities and Exchange Commission has made inquiries about the recall. It also confirmed that the U.S. Attorney's office in New York and an unidentified state attorney general are conducting investigations.

The SEC likely is probing whether GM failed to disclose the switch problem to investors. GM is recalling 2.6 million older small cars because the switches can unexpectedly slip out of the "run" position. That can shut down the engine, knock out the power-assisted steering and brakes and disable the air bags. Drivers can lose control of their cars and crash.

An employee holds General Motors ignition assembly parts, including the parts affected under the recalls, as they are being inspected, packaged and shipped.
An employee holds General Motors ignition assembly parts, including the parts affected under the recalls, as they are being inspected, packaged and shipped. HANDOUT / Reuters

"We are also the subject of various inquiries, investigations, subpoenas and requests for information from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Congress, NHTSA, the SEC, and a state attorney general in connection with our recent recalls," said a statement in the filing. "We are investigating these matters internally and believe we are cooperating fully with all requests, notwithstanding NHTSA's recent fines for failure to respond. Such investigations could in the future result in the imposition of damages, fines or civil and criminal penalties."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.