US regulator fines GM for inquiry failures

Mary Barra, GM chief executive GM boss Mary Barra gave evidence to lawmakers last week

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US authorities have fined General Motors for failing to respond to requests for information about faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had given GM until 3 April to reply to its requests, but it says a third of its 107 questions have not been answered.

GM says it will provide more documents "as soon as they become available".

The car maker is being fined $7,000 a day until it complies with the request.

On 4 March, the regulator asked GM for pictures, memos, emails and other information to answer questions about the recall.

The reply was due by Thursday of last week.

GM said it has delivered almost 21,000 documents related to the safety recall.

"We will continue to provide responses and facts as soon as they become available and hope to go about this in a constructive manner," GM said in statement.

"We will do so with a goal of being accurate as well as timely," it said.

Congressional hearing

Last week GM's chief executive Mary Barra apologised for an ignition switch fault in some cars linked to at least a dozen deaths in road crashes.

At a US congressional hearing, she also said she was "disturbed" by the company's previous comments about the high cost of replacing the defective parts.

General Motors has so far recalled 2.6m cars because of the defect.

But it has been criticised for taking too long to do so.

Faults with ignition switches in some GM models, including the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, were first reported more than 10 years ago.

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