Past and present GM executives are facing criminal charges and serious prison time in the unnecessary deaths of 104 people due to a faulty ignition switch they apparently decided to ignore. The faulty ignition switch would shut off the car, the power steering and brakes, creating a hazardous situation in which 104 people died and many more were injured. GM is expected to have to pay a fine of over 1 billion dollars for not being forthcoming about the mechanical problem.
The fine could be larger than the 1.2 billion paid by Toyota over cars that would accelerate on their own. Toyota paid a 1.2 billion dollar fine for that indiscretion.
The ignition problems were mainly on the Cobalt but does also include a few other models. GM also faces a slew of wrongful death suits as well as suits from people who were “merely” injured. The numbers could be staggering. (They are going to need to sell an awful lot of Volts to cover that tab) And what kind of sentence for 104 counts of reckless indifference, depraved indifference or manslaughter be worth? One year per count would be a life sentence.