Criminal Wrongdoing In GM Ignition Case

gmThe Justice Department has found criminal wrongdoing in General Motors’ GM +0.34% actions related to its ignition defects, and is negotiating what is expected to be a record penalty, The New York Times reported Friday.

A settlement is expected as soon as this summer, and a fine is expected to be greater than the $1.2 billion paid by Toyota last year in its unintended acceleration defects. The Times quoted people briefed on the inquiry who it did not identify.

GM is cooperating with the inquiry, and in return will receive what is called cooperation credit, according to the paper. That might mean a smaller penalty than if GM did not work with the government.

Still, GM?s penalty will be considerable, especially given that 104 deaths are blamed on the ignition defect. The Times said former GM employees were under investigation and could face criminal charges.Some of those employees were dismissed by the company last year.

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