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settlements

Report: GM, federal prosecutors close to criminal settlement over flawed ignition switch

Federal prosecutors and General Motors could reach a settlement as early as Thursday over the company's handling of a defective ignition switch linked to the deaths of more than 100 people, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The defect was disclosed in 2014, and more than 26 million vehicles were recalled that year due to safety issues. Sources familiar with the deal told The Wall Street Journal the automaker is expected to be charged with criminal wire fraud for allegedly making deceptive statements and hiding information about the faulty switch despite signs of problems. The deal will reportedly include a fine of about $900 million. Two sources said it's unlikely that individual GM employees will be charged, and prosecutors will probably unveil information on a large compensation fund set up by the company for victims.

The settlement was being finalized Wednesday, the sources said, and GM is expected to enter a deferred-prosecution agreement, meaning the government intends to eventually dismiss the case if GM follows the deal's terms.