GM to pay $900m criminal penalty over deadly ignitions

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General Motors Co. agreed to pay $900 million and admit to misleading the government and the public about the safety of its vehicles to end a US criminal investigation into its handling of defective ignition switches linked to 124 deaths.
The settlement and charges, which were detailed in papers filed in Manhattan federal court, have transformed the relationship between the automaker and the US government, which had bailed out GM during the financial crisis.
GM admitted to failing to disclose to its US regulator and the public a potentially lethal safety defect with the switches that kept airbags from deploying in some vehicles.
The largest US automaker also admitted to misleading consumers about the safety of vehicles affected by the defect.
GM was criminally charged with scheming to conceal a deadly safety defect from its US regulator, as well as wire fraud.
Under a three-year deferred prosecution agreement, GM must hire an independent monitor to oversee its safety practices, including its ability to fix defects and handle recalls.

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