General Motors agrees to $35M fine and internal changes


General Motors (GM +0.1%) will pay a $35M fine as part of a consent order it signed with the DOT. The action marks the first time an automaker has been charged the maximum fine level by the government.

The automaker faces additional fines for questions posed to it by regulators which remain unanswered.

As part of the consent order, GM agrees to make "significant and wide-ranging internal changes" to how it conducts safety reviews.

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Comments (43)
  • found_alpha
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
     
    Toyota was fined ONE BILLION DOLLARS for concealing data from NHTSA. GM? just $35M. This, my friends, is how crony capitalism works. This is the Chicago Way: screw your enemies and reward your Union friends. I will never again purchase a GM vehicle.
    16 May 2014, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • SimonSaysShort
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you should check out the second bullet point:
    "The automaker faces additional fines for questions posed to it by regulators which remain unanswered"
    16 May 2014, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Cleary you don't understand.

     

    The $35M dollar fine was the maximum statutory Civil penalty.

     

    If there is admission or settlement of criminal wrongdoing (as with Toyota) it will come later. And it will be substantially more than $35M, I can assure you.

     

    "The action marks the first time an automaker has been charged the maximum fine level by the government."

     

    You do not understand the headline?
    16 May 2014, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • curbyourrisq
    , contributor
    Comments (129) | Send Message
     
    You can assure???? Why are you so sure it will be SUBSTANTIALLY greater than the $35 million. This is the government issuing a fine against a company they BAILED OUT.
    16 May 2014, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • curbyourrisq
    , contributor
    Comments (129) | Send Message
     
    You can assure us??? Are you clairevoiant? How can you assure us it will be SUBSTANTIALLY higher?

     

    Afterall, this a government, passing judgement on a company THEY bailed out...
    16 May 2014, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • User 26022023
    , contributor
    Comments (32) | Send Message
     
    I get that we are all looking for the conspiracy here but the Toyota $1.3B was a fine from the DoJ. The NHTSA fine for Toyota was about half this fine. There could have been a better headline or even detail in this report.
    16 May 2014, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • mrdirt
    , contributor
    Comments (766) | Send Message
     
    Here is a bigger problem. In the past several years, one of the topics covered in detail on these pages has been the surge in such gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and end customer sales, used extensively by US automotive manufacturers, better known as "channel stuffing", of which General Motors is particularly guilty and whose inventory at dealer lots just hit a new record high. But did you know that when it comes to flat or declining sales and stagnant end demand, channel stuffing is merely the beginning? Presenting... Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die http://bit.ly/1jnGSYJ
    16 May 2014, 10:21 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    MrDirt,

     

    Did you hear that on Zero Hedge?

     

    Any conspiracy theories as to "Channel stuffing' can be easily refuted with registration and or sales tax data.
    16 May 2014, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    Mrdirt, indeed and in fact in the latest reporting period, the month of April, GM registrations tumbled in Europe, down over 5%. Ford's registrations rose a healthy 9%. Looks like some prudent Europeans may be dismayed with the corruption and dirty-dealing in this American car-maker, and are hesitant to buy a defective potential deathtrap.

     

    Unfortunately, the bumbling bosses and ethically crippled engineers of General Motors have inflicted deep damage on the GM brand, it seems.

     

    …funfun..
    17 May 2014, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • Moon Kil Woong
    , contributor
    Comments (13478) | Send Message
     
    Good comment in that GM will get a sweet deal all the way around, not that it matters (the taxpayer is the one on the line). The argument against a big fine against GM is the same as the fines against TBTF banks. The reason why they get a sweet deal and don't care about the amount of the fine is because they are guaranteed survivability no matter what, its the taxpayer who loses as they snicker in the boardroom.

     

    GM just like TBTF banks increasingly act like nationalized perhaps because they are. If you care about safety, capitalism, or fairness lodge your complaint against GM to Washington. It would also be helpful if you donate money to anti-GM/union groups to combat the millions thrown to them by union lobbyists. Even so, I doubt it will make a difference. That's the way nationalized institutions go. Do they care about you, the consumer, government regulatory bodies, fines, insolvency, quality, safety, etc.? Only if they are de-nationalized.

     

    As for additional fines, pshaww this sweet deal is already done.
    17 May 2014, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Moon,

     

    The Gov't no longer owns any shares in GM.

     

    The governments only stake (if any) would be to get as much money from GM in fines that they can.
    17 May 2014, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Budavar
    , contributor
    Comments (1410) | Send Message
     
    Did GM admit to any degree of criminality in this action?
    16 May 2014, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • Ted Bear
    , contributor
    Comments (703) | Send Message
     
    Whatever the fine, you can be assured that it won't have any "sting" . GM is a $55 billion company. Fine 'em $20 billion and you can bet they will never make a mistake again.

     

    Today's fine is sort of like the fine that Goldman paid for their fraudulent behavior in the mortgage backed market. They made BILLIONS, and paid a paltry $500 million fine.

     

    Where is the deterrent in that? To be effective these fines should push the companies, and more importantly, the management, right to the edge so that they NEVER FORGET their wrongdoings.
    16 May 2014, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    The figure of 13 deaths is grossly understated. Attorneys for GM victims and surviving family members have cogently cited 53 deaths or more. The $35 million fine is a paltry deterrent. That amounts to only $650,000 per death of each woman or each man or each child killed as a consequence of the negligence, gross or criminal, of GM's ethically crippled executives and engineers. …funfun..
    16 May 2014, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    FunFun,

     

    You are aware that 12 of the 13 were either drunk, unbelted, recklessly speeding , unlicensed to drive, or a combination of all of the above?

     

    That is a fact, but you won't hear the lawyers & politicians talking about it.

     

    That is why Both NHTSA & GM never quite took the stats seriously enough.

     

    Thousands of People run out of gas and/or experience stalls for a myriad of reasons every day, all without incident.

     

    GM & NHTSA's big mistake (with the benefit of hindsight) was that in the unlikely event of a stall, it would result in injury, rather than a minor annoyance.

     

    Lesson: Never underestimate the incompetence of the driving public.

     

    Audi learned the same in the late 1980's
    16 May 2014, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • TheManSam
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    1980,

     

    Wrong headed view of reality. Reality is as it is, Toyota paid 16.3 mill and 17.3 million in two separate years. Google it. GM is Obamas pet project and is clearly the front runner for his choice of picking winners and losers. Not Toyota. Skepticism on future GM fines is warranted by all citizenry. To say otherwise is an absolute insult.
    16 May 2014, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    ManSam,

     

    I don't get your point.

     

    Fact is, what GM just paid in the Civil side is both a record and the maximum allowed by statute.

     

    That does not sound like favoritism.

     

    Any civil penalties imposed on Toyota involved separate offenses.

     

    Toyotas recent settlement for the $1.2B was with the Justice Dept, when Toyota essentially "Copped a plea"

     

    Apparently there was a "smoking Gun" hence the decision by Toyota to settle rather than fight it.

     

    Any proceeding with GM on the criminal side with the DOJ is still pending.

     

    There is a higher degree of proof and burden, for the DOJ on the criminal side, however.

     

    They are separate issues. The burden will require the DOJ to prove criminal intent. Bad decision making does not meet the legal requirement for criminal intent.

     

    GM has now given investigators full access and files on the matter.

     

    I'm sure if GM feels culpable, they will likely settle as did Toyota. I also speculate that any settlement may include payouts to those injured based on Feinberg' s recommendations.

     

    BTW:

     

    The Gov't has not owned any GM shares since December, and has no financial interests.
    16 May 2014, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (1199) | Send Message
     
    From what I have read so far,GM has admitted wrong doing,so they will most likely be fined more,and maybe more than Toyota.Toyota didn't admit any wrong doing for a long time,and when they did they were fined 1.2 billion.This is the way I understand that it went down.Feel free to correct me if I am wrong.One more point,what difference does it make what happened to Toyota? We aren't talking about Toyota, we are talking about GM.
    16 May 2014, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Lemm,

     

    There is a big difference to admitting criminal wrongdoing or cover-ups to the DOJ, vs not following proper protocol or negligence with NHTSA.

     

    The NHTSA deal is civil.

     

    The DOJ (criminal) will require a higher burden of proof by the Gov't, but the stakes are higher, as well as the fact that they will not be able to hide behind the bankruptcy technicality in a criminal proceeding.

     

    Bad judgment by an engineer on a part's suitability and or risk assessment , does not constitute Criminal intent, on a legal basis.
    16 May 2014, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • lemm
    , contributor
    Comments (1199) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the reply 1980XL.that makes it clearer for me. by the way,there isn't much use in arguing with foofoo, He is sounding more crazy every day.imo.
    16 May 2014, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    It's telling that GM Management and their PR operatives and lawyers have actively engaged in cynical and callous PR damage control by blaming the victims of GM's deadly defective parts and Management fraud for their own deaths and injuries! Talk about contemptuous evasion of accountability!

     

    …funfun..
    16 May 2014, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Hiring Kenneth Feinberg for possible settlement offers to drunken, incompetent victims, despite being shielded from any liability due to bankruptcy, does not sound very much like "Hiding" to me.

     

    Nor have I heard any current GM official using that as a defense publically. I have heard of apologies however.

     

    FunFun seems to be the one with the "spin"

     

    Mary Barra has already acknowledged "Civic responsibility," despite being legally shielded from any such liability.

     

    Sounds more like they plan on doing the right thing. and will likely consider Mr. Feinberg's recommendations.
    16 May 2014, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    "drunken, incompetent victims"? Ah…yes…it is the victims' fault they are dead, not GM's. We get it; no need to repeat cynical spin and degradation of GM car owners and drivers. Death is sufficient degradation. …funfun..
    16 May 2014, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    When people show blatant disregard and poor judgment for their own safety by driving drunk speeding and unbelted, just blame the "Evil Corporations"

     

    FunFun,

     

    You sound like a lawyer..

     

    Are you?
    16 May 2014, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • TheManSam
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    1980,

     

    You my friend sound like a lawyer. GM is a pet of Obamas. They will not face the same scrutiny as Toyota. Fair has been proven far from fair with this admin. Picking segments of the Economy and Corps to win and fail within those segments is as it is, un fair. I hail Corps as long as they play fair. In this case skepticism is important to maintain in looking at how Toyota was handled vs how Obamas GM will be handled. Facts are simply facts. To deny fact is to deny rational discourse.
    16 May 2014, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    ManSam,

     

    You are re-hashing the past.

     

    We all know what happened in the past.

     

    "Toyota was handled vs how Obamas GM will be handled. Facts are simply facts."

     

    You seem to have your "Facts" mixed up.

     

    Speculation on what may happen to GM in the future is not a "Fact" by definition, since it has not yet occurred.

     

    It is speculation using your opinion.

     

    Please do not confuse trying to predict the outcome of future events, by categorizing them as "Facts"

     

    After it happens, we may get the facts, but not before.
    16 May 2014, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • crash9010
    , contributor
    Comments (181) | Send Message
     
    I fear that as bad as the situation is/was that there are many that are just using it and twisting it to fit some strange political agenda. GM was in the wrong will pay a price and then move on and over time it's shares will better reflect the value of the company. All other "stuff" will only be the media pushing a story or a person/group pushing an agenda.
    16 May 2014, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • cbmetcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (91) | Send Message
     
    Please keep bashing GM. Every time it dips on another recall I'm buying more. Fact is: their cars used to be mediocre. Now, they have the best products on the market. The past will be covered by the bankruptcy and GM will pay out a settlement to some of the families as a show of respect for their losses. Meanwhile when the stock pops back up to the "reasonable zone" I will collect. Until then I'll just keep getting my nice dividend check.
    16 May 2014, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • Copious28
    , contributor
    Comments (444) | Send Message
     
    One thing that make GM different than Toyota and Ford: GM is admitting fault immediately. TM and F both denied their problems, then finally had to deal with them. The public remembers that negatively, and it really only prolonged their sales recovery.
    Ultimately, TM recovered from their acceleration problem and are still in business.
    GM will recover a lot faster.
    I agree with cdmetcalf: buying the dips like crazy.
    16 May 2014, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    "GM is admitting fault immediately." The hyper-secretive and evasive Management of General Motors admitted nothing until forced to after 12 years, repeat 12 years! So thick is the fog of fraud enshrouding Ren Sin, GM's global headquarters in Detroit, that zealous fans of this intractably corrupt motorcar company cannot see more than a few inches into reality!

     

    …funfun..
    16 May 2014, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    FunFun,

     

    Feel free to share any actual and/or meaningful technical or legal data, vs the repetitive talking points you post on each and every GM headline for about 3 months now.

     

    You likely don't even know what a camshaft even is. Something with your "lobe," (pun intended)
    16 May 2014, 10:36 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    Folks, when these rabid protectors and proponents of GM Management have to resort to snotty personal insults and unprofessional vindictive attacks, you know convincingly their case is weak. Their mission is to distract from legitimate discussion of the subject at hand and substitute harassment for civil debate. That is a sure sign of a company in major trouble with tonnes to hide.

     

    Moreover, as part of their cynical campaign of PR damage control, they repeatedly smear GM's superior-managed rival, Ford, to distract and divert attention from the massive scandal besetting this unethically run GM.

     

    …funfun..
    17 May 2014, 08:33 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    I don't know FunFun.

     

    Your comments don't really appear to be hurting GM very much.

     

    http://bit.ly/1lxTIzl
    17 May 2014, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • bigticket99
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
     
    all this amount of fine now, as opposed the future is BS what about finding those culprits who knowingly, when discovered the problem, did not act quickly in good faith which might have saved some families grief. those GMer's should be questioned and, if found negligent, sent to federal prison. the money is only paper that they don't have to come up with...prison is hard time which is what they deserve.
    16 May 2014, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    bigticket, we heartily concur.

     

    To knowingly fail to act to redress a deadly hazard in a product you produce is nothing short of criminal negligence. GM executives and engineers have blood on their hands. …funfun..
    16 May 2014, 09:38 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (9612) | Send Message
     
    I just want GM to send me a notice telling me that the curtain air bag part, which is under a recall in our Enclave, is in.

     

    First notice told me all about the recall and also stated that the parts are not available. How thoughtful to tell me keep an eye on the AirBag indicator light. That helps if I get T-Boned and don't have a curtain airbag!

     

    We love our Buick, but I am certainly not pleased with the way this is be handled, or not being handled.
    17 May 2014, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • cbmetcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (91) | Send Message
     
    I believe they are still having a shortage of parts which they can't whip out of mid air. They were just giving you notice as they are now internally required to do. You can bet GM will be making the safest cars on the planet for the next few years...
    By the way, I just had my Honda recall taken care of Thursday...it happens to 'em all. What other types of products carry so much liability so far down the road????? It's the nature of being ANY car manufacturer.
    17 May 2014, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Deercreek,

     

    Those parts likely have to come from TRW or Autolive.

     

    I'm sure they are on order.

     

    My understanding of that recall is that it is only a concern if you have a malfunction warning light and continue ignore it.

     

    Now they even have to design around people that even ignore a warning light.

     

    This for equipment that is not even legally required, and did not even exist until a few years ago.

     

    I'm sure your dealer can likely give you an ETA update on the parts, should you continue to be concerned.

     

    I personally never drove or owned a car with side curtain airbags.

     

    In fact, I used to drive cars without any airbags. Somehow I'm still here :)

     

    Now we have mandated Airbags, ABS, tire pressure monitoring, Stability/traction control, Rear view cameras, etc, etc.

     

    Amazing how we ever got by without it!
    17 May 2014, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Deercreek,

     

    Not sure those side curtain airbags would help very much in this situation

     

    http://bit.ly/1lNAOHv
    17 May 2014, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    Fellow Investors,

     

    On CNN's special review last night (May 18, 2014), "Failure To Recall--Investigating GM", hosted by veteran auto journalist Phil LeBeau, GM's corrupt Management was unambiguously exposed as "playing with the numbers". The true number of deaths and injuries from millions of their deadly defective cars on the road is substantially larger than the tiny figure of "13 deaths" GM executives and their PR damage controllers cling to.

     

    That fact does not augur well for GM shareholders, as a costly new wave of lawsuits and very bad publicity will ensue. The GM brand is stained and marred indelibly.

     

    …funfun..
    19 May 2014, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    4 of the biggest recalls in automotive history belong to Ford

     

    3 of them are in the post OBD2 era

     

    2 of them involved switches, and did not involve any component of driver error. ( #1 & # 6)

     

    They involved tens of millions of more cars than the GM ignition switch recall.

     

    http://bit.ly/1sKC8Mv

     

    http://nyti.ms/1kEhvly

     

    (most important to note as Ford's recall dragged on for a decade, even AFTER NHTSA issued a recall)

     

    Yet nobody even seems to remember or talk about it anymore.

     

    And so it will be with GM in the near future

     

    And,

     

    Unlike Ford, I expect GM will have completed their recall before the end of this year, rather than drag on for a decade.
    19 May 2014, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • funfundvierzig
    , contributor
    Comments (4658) | Send Message
     
    To distract attention from this waxing GM scandal, advocates and apologists for General Motors have taken to degrading superior-managed Ford at various sites over the internet. We are not aware that a hyper-secretive and evasive circle of executives and engineers at Ford Motor Company in the 21st century have brazenly broken laws and concealed deadly defects for over a decade, which have resulted in scores of deaths and injuries. The year is 2014. …funfun..
    19 May 2014, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Ford?

     

    Are you serious?

     

    #1 in recalls. (Escape recalled 12 times in last year & a half alone)

     

    -2nd to last in quality (JD Powers, Consumer reports,etc.)

     

    -Failed crash tests. (Fiesta, Escape, Explorer) IIHS

     

    -Fuel mileage misrepresentation lawsuits.

     

    -No high margin luxury cars for profits

     

    - loaded with debt along with $5.9B DOE Gov't bailout money (encumbered to pay back)

     

    http://bit.ly/1sKFuPr
    19 May 2014, 08:42 AM Reply Like
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