Cruise Faces $1.5 Million In Potential Fines Over Withheld Accident Details

General Motors’ Cruise robotaxi unit might be hit with significant fines amounting to $1.5 million, accompanied by additional sanctions, for its failure to disclose crucial information regarding an accident that occurred on October 2. The incident involved a Cruise robotaxi dragging a pedestrian for 20 feet after being struck by another vehicle, an incident which ultimately led to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspending the company’s license.

According to a report from Forbes, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has ordered Cruise to appear at a hearing on February 6, accusing the company of “misleading the Commission through omission” about the severity of the accident. The CPUC alleges that Cruise failed to provide complete details promptly.

The CPUC’s order emphasizes Cruise’s alleged misleading of regulators by omitting crucial details about the accident. This includes a pullover maneuver that resulted in the pedestrian being dragged an additional 20 feet at 7 mph, information that was not disclosed during the initial communication with the CPUC.

GM’s CEO Mary Barra announced that an external review of Cruise’s safety practices would extend into the first quarter of 2024. This external review also includes an examination of Cruise’s interactions with regulators and first responders, reflecting the gravity of the situation.

Cruise temporarily suspended all driverless and supervised car trips in the across the US last month, initiating a safety review of its robotaxis. Both CEO Kyle Vogt and Chief Product Officer Daniel Kan have since stepped down.

GM has enlisted external law firms to conduct reviews of Cruise’s management handling of the incident. Cruise is planning to relaunch in an undisclosed city before expanding to others, with GM expected to deliver a “verified statement” addressing the CPUC’s charges by December 18.

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