General Motors has been fined at least $28,000 this week by the federal government for not providing regulators with the information they requested about an ignition switch issue linked to multiple deaths and responsible for the recall of nearly 2.6 million vehicles.
The fine stems from a 107-question inquiry that GM was supposed to submit detailed answers to by April 3. For every day past that deadline, the agency is fining the automaker $7,000, the maximum fine allowed. As of April 7, that number has climbed to $28,000.
In a letter on Tuesday, NHTSA chief counsel Kevin Vincent said that a third of the requests had gone unanswered. Additionally, despite GM’s claims of being unable to answer certain technical questions in time, Vincent wrote that the unanswered questions are not of a technical nature. “These are basic questions concerning information that is surely readily available to GM at this time,” he wrote.
GM defended its cooperation with investigators so far, saying that they had “fully cooperated.” In a statement, company spokesman Greg Martin said:
GM has produced nearly 21,000 documents totaling more than 271,000 pages through a production process that spans a decade and more than 5 million documents from 75 individual custodians and additional sources.
The NHTSA has said that if they continue to not receive sufficient information from GM, it may ask Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to compel the company to provide information.