American auto manufacturer General Motors (GM) knew for years that its vehicles were deadly. Officials were aware that the ignition could suddenly disengage mid-ride, causing the power to cut to the engine, resulting in system failure of airbags and power steering. They knew people were dying and being seriously injured, and they also knew that all they needed to fix this problem was a $2 repair.
But for years, they kept it quiet. They concealed it. When lawsuits were filed, they quietly settled them out-of-court in confidential agreements, hoping to limit public knowledge of the issue. In all, at least 124 people died as a result of the defect. One was convicted of a felony after she was faulted for a crash later attributed to the defect. Others have been maimed forever.
It wasn't until a new CEO took over that the issue was pushed into the daylight. Recalls were issued. More lawsuits were filed. The CEO apologized to the public, to the families. She fired a number of those connected with the alleged cover-up. She set aside a fund to pay further settlements to victims.