DETROIT, MI - The General Motors world headquarters building is shown September 17th, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, and Mark Reuss, President of GM North America, held an Employee Town Hall Meeting and a question & answer session with the news media today to discuss GM's $900 million settlement with the Justice Department over GM's ignition switch recalls. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

GM settles with 49 states and pays a whopping amount for a safety defect linked to deaths

A safety defect involving faulty ignition switches has led to General Motors agreeing to pay $120 million to 49 states and Washington D.C.

The faulty ignition switches had previously caused engines to stall and has prevented airbags from deploying in crashes, and GM had already paid $2.5 billion in penalties and settlements. According to Reuters, the defect has been linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, and it led to a recall of 2.6 million vehicles in 2014.

Related: After recalling more than 1 million cars, a major Japanese auto manufacturer makes a bold decision

The company was made aware of issues involving the ignition switches in 2004, but they didn't attempt to fix the issue until 2014.

Now, GM dealers can't sell certified pre-owned vehicles with uncompleted recalls. The company will also be required to have a team that specializes in improving recall awareness.

There were 15 employees fired over the issue -- including eight executives. They are still facing some lawsuits related to the issue.

GM is the largest automaker in the United States, and a scandal this big is the last thing they needed. But if they were aware of the issue for a decade and didn't fix it, they deserve the consequences.

(h/t Car Scoops)