NATIONAL - We're learning more about the controversy surrounding General Motors - not only did the automaker delay recalling million of vehicles for faulty ignition switches, they also forced employees to downplay any problems.
Investigators got their hands on a confidential report from 2008, where GM instructed its workers not to use certain words in reports about GM products.
It listed 68 specific examples, banning everything from "crippling" to "serious", "bad" to "explosion" as well as "deathtrap". Employees weren't even allowed to use the word "defect".
The training guide went so far as to suggest alternatives, saying "problem" could be replaced with "issue" or "condition".
Investigators found the report while looking into GM's safety practices after learning the automaker knew about the ignition switch problem 10 years ago, but didn't issue a recall until now.
"What we cannot tolerate, what we will not accept is a person or company that knows danger exists and says nothing," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Renard Foxx. "Literally silence can kill."
General Motors has agreed to pay a $35,000,000 fine to the government for failing to report the faulty ignition switches that have been tied to at least 13 deaths.