GM ordered to pay record fine, have unprecedented oversight during ignition investigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WXYZ) - The United States Department of Transportation announced today new information regarding their GM ignition switch recall investigation.

They said GM agrees to pay a record, maximum $35 million penalty for violating federal safety laws, and also to have unprecedented oversight requirements in the investigation.

"Safety is our top priority, and today’s announcement puts all manufacturers on notice that they will be held accountable if they fail to quickly report and address safety-related defects,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Foxx added that they sent their Growing America Act to congress, which would raise the maximum penalties for offenses from $35 million to $300 million.

Also, GM will have to make significant and wide-ranging internal changes to it's review of safety-related issues in the United States, and improve its ability to take into account the possible consequences of potential safety-related defects.

“No excuse, process, or organizational structure will be allowed to stand in the way of any company meeting their obligation to quickly find and fix safety issues in a vehicle,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman.

GM will also pay additional civil penalties for failing to respond on time to the agency's document demands during NHTSA's investigation.

“We have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming an industry leader in safety,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “We will emerge from this situation a stronger company.”

Barra says the company's ultimate goal is to create an exemplary process and produce the safest cars.