USA: GM fined $35 million for delayed response to ignition switch defect linked to 13 deaths; company undertaking internal inquiry

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18 May 2014

GM legal department under scrutiny in company's recall probe: report

Author: Jim Loney & Eric Walsh, Reuters

General Motors' legal department is the focus of an internal inquiry into how the company handled a vehicle safety defect linked to 13 deaths...The U.S. government hit the automaker with a $35 million fine on Friday for its delayed response to an ignition switch defect in millions of vehicles. Regulators accused company officials of concealing the problem...The largest U.S. automaker originally noticed the defect more than a decade ago but issued the first recalls only in February of this year despite years of consumer complaints...U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said GM had broken the law and failed to meet its obligations to public safety...

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12 May 2014

GM crash victim's family files new lawsuit, claims company lied [USA]

Author: Terry Baynes, Reuters

A Georgia couple who settled with General Motors…over their daughter's fatal car crash linked to a faulty ignition switch has filed a new lawsuit against the automaker…Ken and Beth Melton accused GM of fraudulently concealing critical evidence and allowing a company representative to lie under oath…They claimed that a lead design engineer…repeatedly testified that he did not know of any design change to the switches, and that GM affirmed those statements…The company's recent disclosures to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Congress have revealed those assertions to be false, the Meltons' lawyers said…GM is facing dozens of lawsuits over the faulty ignition switch…The problem has been linked to at least 13 deaths…GM…said…that the company "denies the assertion that GM fraudulently concealed relevant and critical facts in connection with the Melton matter."…The company denied it engaged in any improper behavior in that lawsuit…

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