General Motors announced on Thursday (17 September) it had settled some civil actions against the company related to 2014 product recalls, including the ignition switch recall.

Earlier, Reuters reported the automaker has agreed to pay US$900m and sign a deferred-prosecution agreement to end a US government investigation into its handling of the ignition-switch defect linked to 124 deaths. 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, according to the report.

In a statement, GM said the first settlement resolves a shareholder class action filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In addition, the company has reached a memorandum of understanding potentially covering approximately 1,380 individual death and personal injury claimants. They include more than half of the personal injury plaintiffs who have lawsuits pending in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“The parties to these agreements have resolved difficult claims without the burden, expense and uncertainty of litigation,” said Craig Glidden, GM executive vice president and general counsel.

As a result of these settlements, the company will record a charge of US$575m in the third quarter.