We've all heard about GM's ignition recalls at this point, but just in case you weren't paying attention, we'll recap: A bunch of GM cars from the the first decade of this millennium had bad ignition switches that could cause crashes and airbag failures. GM documents showed that the company knew of the problem, but did nothing, despite the fact that it led to 13 deaths. When the NHTSA looked at data from the crashes in 2007 and 2010, GM didn't disclose the information it had regarding the switches, and now the company owes the government $35 Million, the maximum possible fine.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is also petitioning Congress to raise the $35 Million maximum fine to $300 Million, on the grounds that the current maximum is too low to be enough of a deterrent. Profit last year was $3.8 Billion, so the fine is only 0.9% of annual profit.
[via US DOT]