May 19, 2014 2:00 PM

GM fined $35 million for faulty ignition switches

Failure to promptly disclose a dangerous safety issue with their vehicles will cost General Motors $35-million.

The maximum fine allowed was handed down to the automaker Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

GM will pay the fine to the top U.S. auto safety regulator, the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for failing to disclose in a timely manner defective ignition switches used in 2.6 million vehicles worldwide.

At issue are ignition switches that could easily be bumped from the "on" position into the "accessory" position, sometimes without the driver's knowledge. If the key fell into the "accessory" position, it could render the airbag inoperable.

Public reports indicate the switches were linked to at least 12 deaths.

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