WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The authorities charge the automaker with hiding a possibly fatal defective switch in its automobiles from the Spring 2012 to February 2014, which has misled consumers about the safety of GM’s cars.
"General Motors not only failed to disclose this deadly defect, but as the Department of Justice investigation shows, it actively concealed the truth from NHTSA [National Highway Transportation Safety Administration] and the public," Foxx stated on Thursday.
The defect was located in the ignition switch that could move quickly out of the "Run" position into "Accessory" or "Off" with its too-low torque resistance. However, when the switch moved from the Run position, it disabled the car’s airbags, which could increase the risk of death for drivers and other passengers.
The agency will now impose an independent government monitor to assess policies, practices and procedures regarding GM’s safety-related public releases.
GM produces vehicles in 37 countries and manages such brands as Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Chevrolet. The company is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan.