The Justice Department accused General Motors of trying to cover up a brake defect in its 1980 X-cars and asked a federal court to fine the automaker $4 million.
The suit also asked that the No. 1 automaker be ordered to recall 1.1 million cars. The government accused GM of giving false information during a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into the brake problem. It is the first time the government has sought civil penalties against an automaker for allegedly providing false information in a defect investigation.