General Motors ignition switch criminal case dismissed by U.S. judge

General Motors

A federal judge in New York dismissed a criminal case brought against General Motors in 2015 concerning the automaker’s handling of an ignition-switch problem associated with 124 deaths.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan accepted a request submitted Monday by federal prosecutors to dismiss the two-count criminal information.

In 2015, the automaker entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office located in New York after the automaker was charged with concealing data from government officials, and wire fraud. The automaker accepted to pay a $900 million fine and agree with three years of oversight by an independent monitor.

Federal prosecutors in New York informed Nathan in a letter Monday that automaker had complied with the terms of the agreement.

GM has paid over $2.6 billion in penalties and settlements, consisting of the fine, over faulty ignition switches that could result engines to stall and prevent airbags from deploying in accidents. The defect was connected to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, and resulted in a recall that started in February 2014 of 2.6 million vehicles.

GM spokesman David Caldwell stated in an emailed statement on Wednesday the government had completed monitoring the company.

GM has made substantial safety improvements over the last few years and added a new product safety structure, Caldwell said.

No one was criminally charged, but Chief Executive Mary Barra fired 15 individuals, consisting of eight executives, over this issue. Barra stated last year the ignition recall was “a moment in time where the company committed deeply to safety.”

Federal officials stated in 2015 that GM concealed the deadly fault and could have significantly decreased the risk by enhancing its key design for less than $1 dollar each vehicle.

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