October 29, 2015 / 10:07 PM / 4 years ago

Federal monitor for GM appointed in ignition switch settlement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former top prosecutor in New York City has been appointed as the federal monitor for General Motors Co following its agreement last month to pay $900 million to end a U.S. criminal probe over a lethal defect in its vehicle ignition switches.

Bart Schwartz, the former chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, will review policies and practices at GM, including the adequacy of the automaker’s procedures for addressing defects.

The appointment was disclosed on Thursday on the website of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office investigated GM.

Ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other GM vehicles could cause their engines to stall, which in turn prevented air bags from deploying during crashes. The defect has been linked to 124 deaths.

Craig Glidden, GM’s executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement that the company pledged its full cooperation with Schwartz, as well as transparency and candor.

Schwartz has served as a monitor or compliance adviser for other companies, including BP PLC and Deutsche Bank AG , Bharara’s office said.

Schwartz could not immediately be reached for comment.

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