State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Toyota's $1.2 Billion Settlement may be model for U.S. probe into GM

In the past couple months, news has come about a problem that GM manufactured cars have had ignition switch problems for 13 years that linked to a dozen deaths. This came out at the same time that Toyota was accepting their settlement for a safety problem with the acceleration system in their cars. The article describes that the criminal probe of Toyota may be a great blue print to use to probe GM. Toyota is going to pay $1.2 billion dollars which is a record setting settlement since the U.S. auto safety law came into effect 48 years ago. High ranked officials that are a part of this case are looking at using the Toyota case as a model for other auto offenses in the future and GM will be next.

GM could be looking at the same charges Toyota received. These charges consisted of 3 years’ probation and a very hefty settlement. What the U.S. auto safety law states is that the automaker must report defects to regulators within 5 days of finding the problem. The problem GM failed to report for 13 years was that heavy key chains attached to the ignition key would allow the ignition switch to turn off which would disable major car functions including the air bags. Not reporting a problem like this is very unethical and in both Toyotas and GM’s case it ended up taking the lives of the drivers. 


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