General Motors struck a deal to settle a U.S. criminal case over faulty ignition switches that have been tied to 124 deaths. But, according to a person who has been briefed, no current or former executives will face criminal charges.
Reuters reports that the company will sign a deferred-prosecution agreement and pay $900 million to end a government investigation into its handling of faulty ignition switches.
The reported terms would mean that GM will be criminally charged with hiding the ignition flaw from regulators and therefore defrauding consumers, but the “case will be put on hold while GM fulfills terms of the deal.”
GM’s expected payment is less than the $1.2 billion Toyota paid in a similar situation.
Here’s more from Reuters on what the case means to the industry’s relationship with the government.
“The settlement is a milestone in a case that over the past two years drove a transformation in the once cozy relationship between the auto industry and regulators in the U.S. government.
“Outrage over the GM ignition switch case prompted a much tougher approach by Washington toward auto safety issues and compelled automakers to act more quickly and comprehensively to recall vehicles with potentially dangerous defects.”