IGNITION SWITCH REDESIGN: In an attempt to resolve its ‘cheap-feeling’ switches, GM redesigned its ignition switches. Unfortunately, the new switches led to at least 13 deaths, 50 crashes and several recalls. Image: AP/Evan Vucci
New York - The government and General Motors (GM) have reached a deal to resolve a criminal investigation into how the Detroit automaker concealed a deadly problem with its small-car ignition switches.
GM will forfeit the equivalent of R12-billion as part of the deal announced on Thursday by prosecutors.
GM will also agree to retain an independent monitor to review and assess its policies to ensure compliance with the agreement.
A conference was scheduled to formally announce the deal, which was signed Wednesday (September 16).
A two-count criminal information accusing GM of wire fraud and scheming to conceal material facts from a government regulator will be deferred if GM complies with terms of the deal.
In 2014, GM recalled 2.6 million older small cars worldwide to replace the faulty switches. Those included the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion.
Here are by-the-numbers details of the GM's recall problems:
87 - Number of deaths compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg has determined are eligible for compensation.
157 - Number of injuries deemed eligible for compensation.
129 - Number of lawsuits pending against GM in the US and Canada alleging loss in values of cars due to the 2014 recalls.
144 - Number of US wrongful-death or injury lawsuits pending due to recalls.
50 - Number of state attorneys general investigating the company over the ignition switch and other recalls. In addition, the US Attorney's Office, Congress, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Canadian safety regulators also are investigating.
63% - Percentage of the 2.6-million older small cars recalled for faulty ignition switches that have been repaired.
75% - Percentage of 2014 recall repairs GM expects to finish by the end of 2015.