DETROIT, Mich. (April 9, 2014) — Following an ignition switch recall, federal safety officials said in a letter to General Motors that it will fine the company $7,000 per day until it provides better answers about its delayed response to safety concerns.
According to USA Today, the fine is in regards to an April 3 deadline the company missed in providing answers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency says it has authority to send the case to the Justice Department as early as April 9 after GM failed to respond to its 107 questions about events that led up to the recall.
However, the company protested the harsh wording, saying it has cooperated with the agency so it has a full understanding of the facts.
This fine is the maximum that the NHTSA can impose, and the agency itself is in the hot seat with Congress for failing to discover the problem with the switches sooner.
GM recalled 2.53 million 2003-2011 small cars because the ignition switches can slip out of the “run” position and shut off the engine, the power steering and brakes, and disable the airbags. The company says it knows about 31 crashes and 12 deaths linked to faulty switches.