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GM didn't fix its ignition defect because it would have cost $1

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General Motors decided that one dollar per car was too much to spend to fix a faulty ignition switch that killed 13 people, internal documents provided to U.S. congressional investigators show. The revelation came yesterday, when GM CEO Mary Barra was grilled by lawmakers as to why the car company waited more than a decade to recall 2.6 million cars that had switch problems that sometimes cut off engines, brakes, and airbags.

Reuters obtained several internal GM emails revealing the cost to fix the ignition switch, and discovered that the change would have cost an extra 90 cents per unit and additional tooling costs of $400,000 — but those tooling costs typically are amortized over several years.

Calling the emails "very disturbing," Barra added the company has changed. "That is not the way we do business in the New GM," she said.