Using the recent case of ignition failure by General Motors as a more present-day example of corporate crime, this paper provides a historical overview of the wrongdoing in the automotive industry to determine what, if anything, has changed in the last thirty years. Historical case studies within the American automotive industry were analyzed to demonstrate their relevance to the General Motors case. Drawing on past criminological interpretations and evaluations of historical automotive negligence, the concepts were applied to General Motors. Using a multi-level perspective approach, and the integration of criminological theories, the case was analyzed and conclusions were drawn. The conclusion features pertinent updates on the case, suggestions for legal action, and makes an argument for the industry and regulatory violations that occur within it to be treated much more seriously.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2015


Victoria E. Collins

Mentor Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Justice Studies