GM doubles earnings as it moves past recall crisis

Chevy's new electric cars
Chevy's new electric cars

General Motors is moving past its scandal over faulty ignition switches.

The largest U.S. automaker reported net income of $2.8 billion, double what it earned a year ago, when it took a $1.5 billion charge to pay for recalls and criminal settlements.

Even excluding the special charges, income climbed 14%. It was the company's most profitable third quarter ever.

Revenue rose 10% to $42.8 billion as strong U.S. sales overcame mixed results overseas. GM sold slightly fewer cars in the United States, but at higher average prices.

GM was bankrupt seven years ago and needed a federal bailout, and it was dogged by the ignition switch recall in 2014 and 2015. GM recalled 2.6 million cars in 2014 because of faulty switches, and tens of millions more because of other concerns.

The ignition flaw, which GM admitted should have been fixed a decade before the recall, was tied to at least 124 deaths, making it one of the deadliest recalls in U.S. history. During the year-ago quarter, GM settled related criminal charges and some civil lawsuits.

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But this year has been largely free of bad news for GM, even though its stock has struggled. GM said the strong results put it on course to hit the high end of its earlier earnings forecast for 2016. Investors liked the news, lifting shares of GM (GM) in premarket trading.

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