GM ignition switch criminal case dismissed

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GM & # 39; s world headquarters in Detroit.

WASHINGTON – A federal judge in New York on Wednesday dismissed a criminal case against General Motors in 2015 for dealing with an ignition switch defect in connection with 124 deaths.

Judge Alison Nathan, District Judge, approved a Monday request from federal prosecutors to dismiss the dual criminal information.

In 2015, GM entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the American law firm in New York after the Detroit automaker was accused of hiding information from government officials and wire fraud. GM agreed to pay a fine of $ 900 million and accepts three years of supervision by an independent regulator.

Federal prosecutors in New York told Nathan in a letter Monday that GM had fulfilled the terms of the agreement.

GM has paid more than $ 2.6 billion in fines and settlements, including the fine, over defective ignition switches that could cause engines to linger and prevent airbags from spreading in a collision. The defect was linked to 124 killed and 275 wounded and led to a recall that started in February 2014 with 2.6 million vehicles.

GM spokesman David Caldwell said on Wednesday in a statement by e-mail that the government had succeeded the company.

GM has made significant safety improvements in recent years and has added a new product safety structure, adds Caldwell.

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No person was prosecuted, but GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra dismissed 15 people, including eight executives. Barra said last year that the recall of the ignition was "a time when the company was deeply committed to safety".

Federal officials said in 2015 that GM concealed the fatal defect and significantly reduced the risk by improving the design of the key for less than $ 1 dollars per vehicle.

In October 2017, GM agreed to pay $ 120 million to resolve the claims of ignition switches from 49 states. The states said GM already knew in 2004 that the ignition switch was a safety failure because this airbag could cause non-deployment, but corporate officials felt it was not a safety risk and delayed recalls.

The problem led to a worldwide revival of the recalls in 2014 to a record high and shed light on GM's safety report as Barra has stated for the US Congress.

GM still faces a number of pending civil lawsuits on the issue of the ignition switch, including some claims for economic loss.