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GM Recalling 4.3 Million Vehicles for Airbag Problem

Software glitch prevents airbags from deploying in crash.

by on Sep.09, 2016

General Motors announced it was recalling 4.3 million vehicles due to an airbag defect.

General Motors is recalling almost 4.3 million cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles built in the last three years due to a software defect that could prevent airbags from deploying in a collision. The problem has been linked to one death and three injuries.

The company said the sensing and diagnostic module that controls airbag deployment has a software defect that may prevent the deployment of frontal airbags in certain “rare circumstances when a crash is preceded by a specific event impacting vehicle dynamics.”

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GM discovered the problem after a report was filed in its Speak Up for Safety system relating to a crash involving a 2014 model year Chevrolet Silverado truck in which the driver’s frontal airbag and seatbelt pretensioners were alleged not to have deployed. (more…)

GM: Ignition Switch Victim Fund Paid Out Nearly $600 Mi

Total cost for scandal now tops $2 bil.

by on Dec.10, 2015

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

An independent victims’ fund set up by General Motors paid out nearly $600 million to settle 399 claims related to a faulty ignition switch, bringing to more than $2 billion the total amount of money the maker has spent as a result of a defect linked to more than 100 deaths.

The announcement came Thursday as the special fund began wrapping up operations. It had been set up on orders from Mary Barra, the then-new GM CEO, last year as part of a broader response to the maker’s extensive safety problems. GM has also had to pay out $900 million to settle a Justice Department criminal probe, and millions more in fines levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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But GM’s troubles are far from over. Not all of those offered settlements from the victims’ fund accepted, and they are among a number of others still set to have their day in court, with a series of trials set to begin in U.S. District Court in New York next month.

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GM Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles Over Fire Concerns

Fourth attempt by maker to resolve problem.

by on Oct.27, 2015

General Motors is recalling more than 1.4 million vehicles that pose a potential fire hazard.

General Motors is recalling 1.4 million vehicles due to a potential fire hazard related to a problem that has plagued the maker for the last seven years.

The automaker said the vehicles are at risk for fire because oil can leak onto the exhaust manifold on vehicles with 3.8-liter V6 engines. GM’s issued recalls for the problem three other times since 2008.

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GM is recalling the 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala, 1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina and 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue and 1997-2004 Buick Regal. (more…)

GM Hit by New Ignition Switch, Takata Airbag Recalls

Airbag issue could trigger still broader recall.

by on Oct.19, 2015

The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado is one of several vehicles equipped with the faulty ignition switch.

Ignition switch and airbag problems have been responsible for some of the biggest recalls of the past year – and they’re now being blamed for a pair of new recalls at General Motors.

In both cases, however, the problems are different from those that have led to earlier big recalls. But one of the two new announcements suggests that Japanese supplier Takata’s problems could be growing worse.

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The new ignition switch problem, however, may have been caught early, in large part due to a new safety program GM has set up in-house to catch potential safety issues.

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GM’s $600 Mil Victims Fund Completes Claims

Feinberg team finishes processing of benefit applications.

by on Jul.13, 2015

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, said the team has processed all of the benefit claims.

The team administering the compensation fund for victims of General Motors faulty ignition switches, led by Kenneth Feinberg, has processed the last of the more than 4,000 claims filed seeking monetary damages.

The fund began accepting claims last August and closed the application process at the end of January, handled 4,342 claims, approving 124 death benefits and 266 injury payouts. The minimum payout for death benefits was $1 million.

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GM established the fund with $600 million, but through March 31 approximately $200 million has been paid. Ultimately, more than 90% of the claims made were denied by Feinberg and his team were denied. There is no appeal process as claimants gave up the right to any form of appeal. (more…)

Deaths Due to GM’s Faulty Ignitions Hits 100

Still 37 more death benefit claims to review.

by on May.11, 2015

GM said it has repaired more than 70% of the vehicles with its faulty ignition switch.

The number of deaths attributable to the faulty ignition switches in the 2.6 million vehicles recalled by General Motors has hit 100.

According to the latest update from Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator the $550 million victims fund established by the automaker, the number of death claims rose this week by three. There are 37 applications still to be considered after 227 have been denied. The automaker said it has repaired between 70 and 75% of the vehicles.

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In addition to the claims for death benefits, Feinberg’s staff approved 12 claims for people who suffered lost limbs, brain damage or pervasive burns in crashes, which are described as Category One. The claims for another 172 people who suffered less severe injuries that required hospitalization or outpatient treatment have also been approved, also known as Category Two injuries. (more…)

GM Ignition Switch Death Toll Rises to 97 Victims

Feinberg team continues processes claims.

by on May.04, 2015

Kenneth Feinberg, administrator fo GM's victims compensation fund, approved another round of benefits for victims.

General Motors initially claimed that 13 people were killed as a result of the faulty ignition switches that forced the recall of nearly 2.6 million vehicles last year: that number is now at least 97 people.

Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the $600 million victims compensation fund established by GM, released the latest results of his team’s efforts to process claims filed by victims and their families.

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The number of deaths has been slowly rising since the automaker established the fund and Feinberg and his team began sifting through the claims. In total, 474 claims were submitted for death benefits, and 97 were deemed eligible, 212 ineligible and 105 were “deficient,” which means it didn’t have enough documentation to be processed. (more…)

Court Upholds GM’s Bankruptcy Shield from Death Claims

But judge leaves potential loophole for plaintiffs.

by on Apr.16, 2015

The faulty GM ignition switch could inadvertently move to the Off position, causing a crash.

General Motors has been handed a major victory in its effort to shield itself from lawsuits linked to the defective ignition switches it used in older vehicles.

A federal judge has ruled the “new GM” is not liable for death and injury claims for crashes that occurred prior to the automaker’s emergence from bankruptcy in July 2009 – even in the event of misconduct by the “old GM.” But ruling from the federal bench in New York, Judge Robert Gerber did say owners could seek damages if they prove vehicles equipped with those switches have lost value since GM exited Chapter 11.

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The automaker hailed the news which, it said, “doesn’t establish any liability against GM.” It also noted that the burden will be on plaintiffs to prove any new claims for losses.

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GM Engaged in Cover Up of Ignition Switch Problems

Lawyers claim new documents show effort to hide problem.

by on Mar.17, 2015

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

The law firms handling one of the high-profile lawsuits against General Motors due to its faulty ignition switch allege the automaker actively engaged in a cover up problems that led to the deaths of more than 65 people.

During a news conference on Monday, attorneys for the family of Brooke Melton, who died in 2010 as a result of an accident tied to the faulty switch, said documents produced by GM and the supplier of the switches, Delphi Automotive, under seal, show that high-level executives knew there was a problem with the switches, but declined to do anything about it.

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GM declined to comment on the press conference. (more…)

GM Bankruptcy Judge May Rescind Liability Shield

Removing protection allows lawsuits to proceed.

by on Feb.18, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra may be facing a tougher year in 2015 if a federal judge rescinds the company's bankruptcy shield.

After securing an important court victory in January, General Motors is on the precipice of a potentially devastating loss as the federal bankruptcy judge that approved the maker’s plan is rethinking the company’s liability shield.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber heard arguments about whether or not GM can keep the shield, which blocks victims of the company’s faulty ignition switches from suing the automaker, which exited bankruptcy in 2009.

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Essentially, since the defective parts were on vehicles manufactured prior the bankruptcy, the “new” GM can claim it is not liable for those vehicles. However, the shield can be revoked in some cases, including if it can be proven that GM executives knew about the problem when it was putting together it’s plans in 2009. (more…)