Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has confirmed for the first time that the state is among those investigating General Motors and how it handled the problem of faulty ignition switches now linked to 54 crashes and at least 13 deaths.

Schuette on executive committee conducting investigation

The Detroit News is reporting that the Republican AG said Michigan is taking a lead role among the 44 Attorneys General involved in the probe.

The U. S Attorney's Office, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and a federal grand jury, are also assisting.

Schuette is among a handful of those on the executive committee.  He had previously refused comment on whether state officials were even involved in the case.

GM officials are under fire for waiting so long to issue a recall after evidence suggesting they knew of problems with the ignition switches for more than a decade.

Schuette told the newspaper that the automaker will be treated fairly and given every opportunity to defense itself.  He said he is hoping the probe will be non-partisan, calling the investigation a matter of consumer protection that is important to both parties.

General Motors was fined a record $35 million dollars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for delaying the recall.  15 people involved have since been fired.

The automaker is also being looked at for potential wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud and is facing more than a hundred lawsuits from those who claim they lost money related to the recalls that left them without a vehicle for weeks or months.

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