A federal judge in New York dismissed a GM ignition switch criminal case and said the automaker has fully complied with a deferred prosecution agreement, Reuters reported Thursday.
The agreement, reached in 2015, was part of a culmination in the GM ignition switch crisis. As part of the agreement, GM admitted it misled the government and public over the safety of its vehicles, leading to 124 deaths from a faulty ignition switch. GM settled all criminal charges with a $900 million penalty after a two-year-long criminal investigation probed the automaker for more information. The agreement also saw $575 million awarded for a partial settlement in nationwide litigation with drivers, passengers and families over the ignition switches.
Last October, GM paid $120 million to settle ignition switch claims in 49 states.
GM has paid over $2.6 billion in penalties and settlements for the faulty ignition switches. Aside from the 124 deaths, the ignition switches were found at fault for 275 injuries. The official ignition switch recall began in February 2014 and 96 percent of the affected vehicles have been fixed. GM’s goal is to reach 100 percent fixed, but it’s unclear if some of the affected cars are still on the road.
Multidistrict litigation claims over the faulty ignition switches have also fallen under 1,000.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan approved the dismissal after federal prosecutors told the judge GM has fully complied with the agreement, which also included three years of independent safety monitoring. GM confirmed the government had finished monitoring the automaker’s safety practices. Since then, GM has been outspoken about safety and publicly shared details about how it look for faults in vehicles and production processes. Barra also instituted a “Speak Up For Safety” program to further encourage employees to bring potential safety issues to light.
The ignition switch recall didn’t lead to any criminal charges, but CEO Mary Barra fired 15 people, including 8 executives, due to their involvement in the bad parts.