The federal government is now looking into what General Motors knew and when the company knew it regarding a problem with some of their vehicles.  A decision that could cost the automaker millions in fines.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's investigating whether the automaker acted quickly enough to pull some millions of older-model small cars after becoming aware of a problem with the ignition.

At least 13 deaths are being blamed on the problem which involves faulty ignition switches.

GM has since doubled the number of cars pulled initially as part of the recall to fix the problem.  But questions remain on when that decision should have been made and whether the company's hesitancy to recall all of the suspected vehicles involved could have been affected by concerns over the cost.

GM officials deny that accusation and say they're cooperating with the investigation.

If found to be negligent, though, the automaker could be filed as much as $35 million.