Corporate scandals involving criminal activity and negligence have gotten out of control. A U.S. Senator and former Harvard law professor recently used her office to bring attention to the fact that too many companies are getting away with ‘bad behavior’.
Corporate corruption and the negative consequences it can have on innocent victims has become so widespread that it deserves a regular series of blogs.
Among the corporate scandals listed by the U.S. Senator is the General Motors (GM) ignition switch catastrophe, which has killed more than 100 people and injured almost 300. GM has been accused of covering up the scandal by failing to report its defective ignition switch to regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
GM Knew About the Defective Ignition Switch
GM agreed to pay $900 million after a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation revealed the automaker concealed the defective ignition switch from NHTSA. Federal prosecutors with the DOJ argued GM engineers and executives knew about the defective ignition switch, including reports of fatalities, for more than a decade.
If GM had notified regulators after becoming aware of the faulty ignition switch, it could have lost money, but more than 100 people might still be alive today. Some of the deceased were very young and just starting out in life. For many others, they will live the rest of their lives with catastrophic injuries.
As of today, no criminal charges have been filed against GM employees who hid the defect from regulators. More than 100 people have lost loved ones and almost 300 more have suffered injuries, all because a major automaker was more concerned about protecting its image than its customers.