NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The headline sounds pretty bad, huh? General Motors (GM - Get Report) getting fined the maximum daily amount by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is, until you realize the maximum daily fine can't exceed $7,000.
For me or you, $7,000 a day for weeks might deal a crippling blow, but not for a huge company like GM.
In a time when investors continue to see headlines for millions of recalled vehicles and companies taking charges of hundreds of millions of dollars for the recalls, $7,000 a day is practically a relief. Even if this daily fine goes on for a year, GM is looking at paying only roughly $2.5 million.
According to the NHTSA, GM will be fined for failing to answer enough questions regarding its ignition-switch recall. The agency pressed the automaker with 107 questions. According to USA Today, GM left more than one-third of those questions unanswered.In its own defense, GM has said it's "worked tirelessly from the start." I tend to agree. The company and its CEO, Mary Barra, have shown a great deal of transparency and cooperation in the investigation. (TM - Get Report) got whacked with a $1.2 billion fine from the Justice Department for a case quite similar to GM's current predicament, and GM is going to be shelling out a lot of dough for this ignition-switch cover-up. For now, though, investors can breathe a sigh of relief now that GM has received its first not-so-horrible news from the government regarding the recalls.
At the time of publication, Kenwell held no position in any stocks mentioned.
Follow @BretKenwell This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.