The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will now cease its daily $7000 fines to General Motors for failing to disclose information about the recent ignition switch recall. According to The Detroit News, General Motors finally answered all of NHTSA’s questions probing into the recall by disclosing attorney Anton Valukas’ independent investigative report.
“We have what we asked for,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told The Detroit News after the fines were halted on June 5. The comprehensive Valukas report apparently addresses all 107 questions that the NHTSA originally posed in its inquiry. Foxx also said that the report suggests the crisis was “entirely preventable.”
General Motors started receiving fines after it failed to meet the NHTSA’s initial April 3 deadline to fully disclose explanations and answers related to the ignition switch recall and the events leading up to it. Since the missed deadline, General Motors racked up more than $420,000 in total fines, notwithstanding the $35 million maximum penalty levied on May 16. The $35 million is due June 13, while the cumulative $420,000 is due July 4.
“From the very beginning we said we were going to answer every question [from NHTSA] substantively,” General Motors spokesman Greg Martin told Automobile. “That ended up just taking longer than expected…We were not going to sacrifice substance for speed.”
General Motors will be required to meet with NHTSA on a monthly basis to discuss all potential safety concerns. General Motors will supply biweekly reports on the status of vehicle repairs, and come forward with any changes to the repair schedule.
Big changes will be made to amend the General Motors culture, which was riddled with incompetence and neglect, to prevent this kind of failure from happening again. CEO Mary Barra fired 15 employees and disciplined five others in response to the revelation that General Motors’ failure to institute safety recalls contributed to at least 54 crashes and 13 deaths. The total number of vehicles recalled now stands at 2.6 million.