The reporting flaw that caused General Motors recalls for faulty ignition switches has resulted in 13 deaths, 32 crashes and a record high $35 million in fines. The Department of Transportation announced Friday “Safety is our top priority, and today’s announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects.”
In actuality though, the fine is only 1% of General Motors annual revenue. The cause of the fines relate to GM knowing about a flaw that caused some cars to shut off while driving, power steering, disabling airbags, and anti-lock brakes in 2004. However, the automobile giant, General Motors recalls did not start until February 2014.
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, went on to say in the press conference, “What we will never accept is a person or a company that knows danger exists and says nothing,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said at a press conference. “Literally, silence can kill.”
As part of the settlement with the government, General Motors agreed to give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration complete access to the results of the company’s own internal investigation.
NHTSA found "systemic" issues regarding how information was shared and the recall unfolded, and that it was "hard to point to one single fault." Although CEO Mary Barra says:
It was culture at the old, pre-bankruptcy GM that put cost concerns ahead of the customer. She insists the problems would not happen today.
GM is facing five more recalls and an FBI investigation in which they face more fines, according to a senior law-enforcement official.