General Motors headquarters in the Renaissance Center are seen on Jan. 14, 2014 in Detroit. 
Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

Feds find criminal wrongdoing in GM ignition switch defect

Federal investigators have found evidence of wrongdoing in General Motors’ failure to disclose a defect tied to at least 84 deaths, and are seeking a substantial penalty from the company, NBC News has confirmed.

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It is not yet known how the penalty would compare with the $1.2 billion paid last year by Toyota for concealing unintended acceleration problems, but the New York Times reported that GM’s settlement is expected to be a record fine, exceeding Toyota’s payment. The Times said a settlement could be reached as soon as this summer.

Some former GM employees are under investigation and could face criminal charges, the Times reported.

General Motors has offered a compensation plan to those affected by the faulty ignition switches, including incidents that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy. A U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled last month will not have to face dozens of lawsuits accusing it of concealing the defect.

This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

Auto Industry and public safety

Feds find criminal wrongdoing in GM ignition switch defect