Criminal Justice

Justice Department is reportedly probing GM ignition recall

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The Justice Department has reportedly opened a preliminary criminal investigation into General Motors’ delayed recall of cars with faulty ignitions, several news outlets are reporting.

Spokespersons for the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York did not comment on the report, the Associated Press reports. Among the news outlets reporting the probe, based on anonymous sources, are AP, the New York Times and Bloomberg News, which had the story first.

GM had collected complaints about the faulty ignitions for a decade, but didn’t issue a recall until February. The faulty ignitions, which shut off unexpectedly, have been linked to 13 deaths. A source told the Times that prosecutors are investigating whether GM downplayed the problem to federal regulators.

Congressional committees, meanwhile, plan hearings to learn why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t act.

GM has hired Jenner & Block chairman Anton Valukas to lead its internal investigation of the delayed recall. King & Spaulding will also aid the investigation.

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