In a move which marks the end of one segment of General Motors' (GM) recall saga, the US automaker has agreed to pay a $35 million federal penalty for concealing ignition-switch defects in its small cars.
Along with agreeing to pay the hefty fine - which, incidentally, is the largest ever penalty assessed by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - GM has also agreed to give the government an increased oversight of its safety procedures.
Moreover, GM has also acknowledged the fact that it violated the law by failing to timely inform the government about the ignition-switch flaw affecting its small cars.
The defect has, as per the automaker, led to at least 13 deaths in crashes. However, trial lawyers suing the company claim that at least 53 people died as a result of the crashes resulting from the ignition-switch defect in GM's small cars.
While agreeing to pay the $35 million fine, GM has also asserted that it will report safety issues a lot faster. The recall of 2.6 million small cars was announced by the company this February, more than a decade after engineers the flaw in ignition switches was detected by the GM engineers.