A man walks past cars parked outside a shopping mall in Alhambra, California, including a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck from General Motors on left on May 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN
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Federal safety regulators slapped General Motors with a record $35 million fine Friday for taking more than a decade to disclose an ignition-switch defect in millions of cars that has been linked to at least 13 deaths.It was not until February that it began recalling 2.6 million of the cars, mainly Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions.Automakers are required by federal law to report safety defects to the government within five days of discovering them.GM says at least 13 people have died in crashes linked to the problem.GM received a $49.5 billion bailout from Washington during its 2009 bankruptcy, and the government was once the automaker's majority shareholder, but it sold off the last of its GM stock in December.GM is already making changes.This year the automaker has issued 24 recalls totaling 11.2 million cars and trucks.Earlier this year, after a four-year criminal investigation, the Justice Department made Toyota pay $1.2 billion for concealing unintended acceleration problems from NHTSA.
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