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Posts Tagged ‘gm key recall’

Shades of Watergate: What Did GM Know and When Did it Know it?

E-mails reveal maker ordered 500k switches months before alerting NHTSA about recall.

by on Nov.10, 2014

One of the replacement GM ignition switches.

Raising a specter of the old Watergate question – what did the President know and when – internal General Motors documents reveal that the maker ordered 500,000 replacement parts months before alerting federal regulators about a faulty ignition switch now linked to at least 32 deaths.

The e-mails were released today by Texas personal injury attorney Robert Hilliard who is handling some of the many lawsuits filed against GM in the wake of its February announcement of a recall covering 2.6 million vehicles sold in the U.S. They were equipped with ignition switches that could inadvertently shut off a vehicle and disable its airbag system. The administrator overseeing a victims’ compensation fund established by the maker has so far acknowledged the problem led to 32 deaths – a figure that could yet go higher.

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“This pulls the curtain back completely and proves GM has not been forthright,” Hilliard said, referring to documents that appear to show that GM knew at least as early as December 18, 2013 that the switches needed to be replaced.

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No Cap to GM Victims’ Compensation Fund – Anyone Injured, Killed Eligible

Thousands could receive “prompt” payouts, says program’s administrator.

by on Jun.30, 2014

GM victims' fund czar Kenneth Feinberg.

There will be no limit to the amount of money available for a new victims’ compensation program set up to cover those injured or killed due to crashes caused by the faulty ignition switches in General Motors vehicles, announced Kenneth Feinberg, the new program’s administrator.

The program, to be funded by GM, will begin taking claims from victims or their families on August 1st, has been designed to deliver “prompt” payment for those considered eligible, said Feinberg during a news conference in Washington, D.C. He noted that the voluntary program will not provide for punitive damages but could still deliver compensation running up to $7 million or beyond based on a series of hypothetical situations Feinberg outlined.

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Significantly, the program will be open even to those who had previously settled a lawsuit with GM due to an ignition switch crash. And, Feinberg noted, “Any contributing negligence of the driver, intoxications, speeding, texting, will be irrelevant under this program. This is about GM and ignition switches…not anything about the driver.”

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A Contrarian’s Take on GM’s Ignition Switch Controversy

Opinion by our automotive veteran.

by on Jun.19, 2014

29-year-old Brooke Melton was killed in a 2009 crash involving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt.

In the nearly 70 years that I have covered the auto industry, I don’t recall a major story that has been so poorly reported as the controversy about GM’s ignition switches.

I attribute this to my belief that, unfortunately, relatively few journalists and editors – not to mention politicians –have ever studied statistics, though they may sometimes handily cherry-pick stats to make a point.

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Let’s start with the gross, or “box car” numbers, as I like to call them.  There are an estimated nearly 300 million passenger vehicles on US roads today, a number that increases by four to eight million every year.  This number includes light trucks and SUVs.

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Six More GM Recalls Include New One for Ignition Switch Problems

Over 3 million vehicles impacted by latest action.

by on Jun.16, 2014

Though given plenty of kudos in recent months, the 2014 Chevy Impala is covered by the latest recall due to an ignition switch issue.

General Motors has announced six more recalls – including a new one covering nearly 3.2 million vehicles that could shut off inadvertently if their keys carry extra weight and experience “some jarring event.”

That comes nearly four months after GM announced it would have to replace faulty ignition switches in 2.6 million vehicles – and only days after the maker recalled every Chevrolet Camaro it has built since 2010 because the design of the key could cause the car to shut off if bumped by a driver’s knee.

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As with the Camaro recall, the latest problem is the result of a faulty key design, rather than a defective ignition switch, however. But the results could be the same: a vehicle suddenly losing power, making it difficult to steer or brake. And the airbag system “may” not deploy, GM cautioned.

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