General Motors is agreeing to pay a $35 million dollar fine to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA for failing to report its problems with ignition switches and issue recalls in a timely fashion. GM announced the agreement today in a statement. In the statement, CEO Mary Barra says "We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety." Barra goes on to say "We will emerge from this situation a stronger company."
Some of GM's management has known about the problems with the ignition switches for years, but they didn't recall the millions of vehicles until February of this year. NHTSA says that the faulty ignition switches have been linked to 13 deaths and 42 crashes.
In a related move, GM also announced today that it will speed up the production of replacement parts. According to a statement, GM says it is buying more equipment and machinery to help produce the components more quickly. GM's supplier Delphi has also increased its production and found other suppliers to help. The company now says it should have enough parts by October to complete the repairs.
General Motors is expected to face huge lawsuits in connection with the delayed recalls. One of the biggest problems is that the faulty ignition switches not only turned off the vehicles, but apparently deactivated airbags.
The vehicles included in the recall are:
- 2003-2007 Saturn ION
- 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
- 2007-2010 Pontiac G5
- 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice
- 2007-2010 Saturn Sky
- 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR