GM’s Cruise threatened with fines over allegedly misleading regulators

Cruise LLC, the self-driving vehicle unit majority owned by General Motors Co., could face a fine for allegedly misleading regulators about an incident on Oct. 2 in which one of its cars dragged a pedestrian, according to a ruling filed Dec. 1.

The California Public Utilities Commission said Cruise must show up at a hearing on Feb. 6 to show why the company shouldn’t be fined for “making misleading public comments regarding its interactions with the Commission.” Cruise could pay up to $100,000 per incident in which it failed to disclose information to regulators about the accident.

A Cruise spokesman said in an email that the company “is committed to rebuilding trust with our regulators and will respond in a timely manner to the CPUC.”

While GM and Cruise could afford the fine, it would be another slap to a company that is working to regain public trust after suspending all robotaxi rides in San Francisco as well as more nascent operations in Texas and Arizona.

In the Dec. 1 ruling, the CPUC said Cruise’s email from its government affairs staff sent on Oct. 2 failed to disclose that the woman was dragged for 20 feet after the incident. The Commission also said Cruise didn’t disclose the full video of the incident until Oct. 18.

Since then, Cruise has not only grounded its fleet, its founder and Chief Executive Officer Kyle Vogt resigned Nov. 19 and GM has given its own executives and board members tighter control of the company.

Cruise is also planning layoffs as it cuts back on robotaxi operations and focuses on developing safe self-driving technology.

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