GM to pay $900 million over ignition switches

General Motors has agreed to pay $900 million (£581 million) and sign a deferred-prosecution agreement to end a US government investigation into its handling of an ignition-switch flaw linked to 124 deaths.

The arrangement means GM will be charged criminally with hiding the defect from regulators and in the process defrauding consumers, but the case will be put on hold while GM fulfils terms of the deal.

No individuals would be charged in the criminal case, one of the sources said. The company’s expected $900 million payment, confirmed by a second source, is less than the $1.2 billion that Toyota Motor Corp paid to resolve a similar case.

GM declined to comment. Spokeswomen for US prosecutors in New York and in Washington also declined to comment.

The terms of GM’s deal with the government were not yet disclosed.

The agreement was expected to be announced today, according to sources. Any deferred-prosecution agreement would require court approval.