General Motors has agreed to pay US$900m and sign a deferred-prosecution agreement to end a US government investigation into its handling of an ignition-switch defect linked to 124 deaths, two sources have told the Reuters news agency. The deal means GM will be charged criminally with hiding the defect from regulators and in the process defrauding consumers, but the case will be put on hold while GM fulfills terms of the deal, one source said.