GM Recall Delays Earns General Motors A $35 Million Fine Over 53 Deaths, But Is That Enough?

The GM recall delays have ended with the US government fining General Motors for $35 million.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the GM recall for the faulty ignition switches was known about for at least 10 years, but General Motors did not start recalling the effected cars until February of this year even though they’re required to report safety defects within five days of discovering them. Worse, another of the previous GM recalls was linked to at least 303 deaths, and most of the victims were very young. And just the other day another set of GM recalls for trucks are said to be so bad that General Motors recommends that the vehicle owners do not attempt to drive their trucks to the dealership to be fixed.

Some people may think that the punishment over the GM recall may amount to a slap on the wrist. After all, the $35 million is than a single day’s income for the auto maker based upon General Motors’ gross income being $37.4 billion in just the first quarter of 2014. To top it off, while only 13 deaths have been acknowledged to be linked to the faulty ignition switches, trial lawyers claim the death toll is as high as 53 people.

At the same time, $35 million is the maximum penalty that is allowed by the Transportation Department and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This amount was doubled from last year, but Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is urging Congress to raise the maximum penalty all the way up to $300 million. Foxx also believes the fine should alert other auto manufacturers that pushing off safety issues is not acceptable:

“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.”

But the NHTSA is not the only organization hunting down the truth behind the GM recall delays. A GM investigation is currently underway by Congress and the US Justice Department. If they discover that General Motors concealed any information from the NHTSA it is possible they could levy a much heavier fine and even hand out criminal charges. For examples, a $1.2 billion fine was handed out to to Toyota when it hid acceleration issues with its own vehicles from the NHTSA.

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