General Motors Co has accepted to pay the sum of $13.9 million as a settlement with Orange County, California. This came after the prosecutors accused the automakers of not going public with safety defects such s faulty ignition switches in their vehicles, which has led to roughly 400 death and injuries. The company released this statement on Sunday.
A superior court Judge in the Orange County region approved the settlement fees after the company allegedly violated some rules and falsely advertising some of their vehicles that were recalled three years ago, one of which included the ignition switch recall. This came after GM also agreed on another settlement of $120 million with 49 states and DC over the same faulty ignition switches and also its auto safety practices.
The District Attorney of Orange County, Tony Rackauckas while making a statement, said that the auto giants refused to reveal the defects in their vehicles such as power steering, airbag, and braking systems. The amount spent by GM in penalties and settlements previously over faulty ignition is estimated to be about $2.5 billion. Their faulty ignition switches could cause engines to stall and thus stopping the airbag from coming out in times of accidents. This fault has been tied to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, which started a recall process of 2.6 million vehicles in 2014.
Their spokesman, David Caldwell assured their customers that since 2014, the company has done everything possible to ensure that their vehicles are very safe, as they have also rolled out new programs to see to it that employees report potential issues before the vehicle is completed.
It is not yet over for GM concerning faulty ignition recall, with 100 other lawsuits still left. Some of this lawsuits include economic loss and personal injury claims, with the only government lawsuit left for them to answer been from the State of Arizona.
2 years ago, the company was charged with wire fraud and paid the sum of $900 million to the U.S Justice Department criminal investigation, while also agreeing to their operations been monitored by an independent body for a period of three years.
The government didn’t charge anyone but the CEO, Mary Barra fired 8 of her executives and 7 more staff over the issue.