Federal investigators have found evidence of wrongdoing in General Motors’ failure to disclose a defect tied to at least 84 deaths, and are seeking a substantial penalty from the company, NBC News has confirmed.
It is not yet known how the penalty would compare with the $1.2 billion paid last year by Toyota for concealing unintended acceleration problems, but the New York Times reported that GM's settlement is expected to be a record fine, exceeding Toyota's payment. The Times said a settlement could be reached as soon as this summer.
Some former GM employees are under investigation and could face criminal charges, the Times reported.
General Motors has offered a compensation plan to those affected by the faulty ignition switches, including incidents that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy. A U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled last month will not have to face dozens of lawsuits accusing it of concealing the defect.
- GM Shielded From Faulty Ignition-Switch Suits by Judge's Ruling
- GM Announces New Recalls, Citing Ignition Systems
— Richard Esposito and Patrick Garrity