US: GM moves to settle both criminal charge and the majority of civil lawsuits image

General Motors has made this week ample progress towards putting behind its scandalous ignition switch defect recall, with the US ready to end the criminal investigation and the automaker resolving most of its civil lawsuits related to the faulty part.

On Thursday a US Judge has approved the automaker’s agreement with the US, in which the company would pay the US Justice Department $900 million in a so called deferred agreement that has to do with the charges brought up against the carmaker’s hiding from safety regulators and the public a deadly flaw in its vehicle ignition switches. The deferred prosecution agreement, which settled the criminal investigation into the defective part that has been tied to 124 fatalities, has been signed off by US District Judge Alison Nathan.

Also on Thursday the Detroit-based company announced it has moved to agree to settle major aspects of the massive civil lawsuit for the same defective ignition switches that led to the recall of millions of vehicles. Among the deals, one of them is ready to settle around 1,380 injury and death claims that had been consolidated in a New York federal court, while the other would end litigation with GM shareholders disgruntled by the company’s loss of market value due to the massive safety scandal.

According to GM, the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world, during the third quarter a charge of $575 million would be recorded linked to the civil litigation. So far, the company and the plaintiffs’ representatives refused to give any details on individual settlement purses.