SEC Fines General Motors $1 Million For Accounting Failures

By Francine McKenna Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Securities and Exchange Commission fined General Motors $1 million to settle charges that the company did not properly assess the potential impact on its financial statements of a defective ignition switch because of deficient internal accounting controls. The company's own internal investigation involving the defective ignition switch wasn't brought to the attention of its accountants until November 2013 even though other General Motors personnel knew in the spring of 2012 about the safety issue, according to the SEC. For at least an 18-month period, accountants at General Motors did not properly evaluate or account for the potential losses associated with a recall of cars with the defective ignition switch. General Motors neither admitted nor denied the charges. GM shares were flat Wednesday, but have gained 23% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained about 21%.

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