General Motors(GM) will likely face criminal settlements worth "at least hundreds of millions" and possibly $1 billion, said Alec Gutierrez, analyst with Kelley Blue Book.
GM is shielded from liability for corporate wrongdoing that took place before its 2009bankruptcyfiling. Technically, the General Motors that existed before the bankruptcy is a different legal entity than today's GM.
But the current GM waited nearly five years after bankruptcy before it recalled 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. Meanwhile, more incidents, accidents and fatalities continued to occur. That exposes the automaker to steep civil and criminal fines.