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Posts Tagged ‘ignition switch recall’

As GM Closes Out Ignition Investigation, CEO Barra Says Maker Learned its Lesson

On 3-year probation, GM's problems aren't yet over.

by on Sep.17, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra addresses a company town hall to discuss the ignition switch settlement.

The U.S. Department has concluded a year-longer investigation into General Motors’ handling of a deadly ignition switch defect with a settlement that requires the automaker to pay a $900 million fine. The maker separately negotiated $575 million settlement to conclude various civil suits related to the ignition switch issue now blamed for at least 124 deaths.

The settlement was significantly less than many had expected. And federal investigators did not bring charges against anyone connected with the defect despite GM’s acknowledgement that it waited a decade to deal with the problem. The Justice Dept. had extracted a $1.2 billion fine from Toyota Motor Co. last year to settle charges it had delayed action on defects related to unintended acceleration.

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For her part, General Motors CEO Mary Barra told employees at a town hall meeting at the company’s Vehicle Engineering Center in Warren, Michigan that GM had “let (its) customers down.

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GM Reportedly Set to Settle Justice Dept. Case Over Faulty Ignition Switches

Penalty expected to be in “hundreds of millions of dollars.”

by on Sep.17, 2015

A replacement for the faulty GM ignition switches.

General Motors may take a step closer to wrapping up one of the most troubling incidents in its long history, according to news reports, agreeing to settle a Justice Department criminal investigation into it botched handling of a deadly ignition switch defect.

If preliminary reports prove accurate, GM would pay a penalty in the “hundreds of millions of dollars,” and perhaps as much as $900 million, according to sources close to the investigation quoted by NBC News and other media outlets. That would be substantially less than the $1.2 billion paid by Toyota Motor Co. in March 2014 to settle an investigation into its own safety-related problems.

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The GM settlement also is expected to include a wire fraud charge, though there are no indications any specific individuals will be subject to criminal prosecution, a possibility raised early in the Justice Dept. investigation – and by GM’s own move last year to fire 15 company employees due to their role in delaying a recall of 2.5 million vehicles equipped with faulty switches.

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Lawyer Plans to Depose Former GM CEO Wagoner

Attorney wants to interview Wagoner’s successors as part of lawsuit.

by on Jun.03, 2015

Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner will be deposed in September as part of a lawsuit against the automaker.

The net cast by lawyers directing the class-action lawsuits against General Motors related to the faulty ignition switches just got a little wider as they announced former CEO Rick Wagoner will be deposed in September.

Wagoner, who was CEO when the company headed into bankruptcy in 2009, won’t be the only former chief sitting down to testify, if Bob Hilliard, the Texas attorney who is leading one of the class-action personal injury and death lawsuits against GM.

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He also wants to depose Wagoner’s successors: Fritz Henderson, Ed Whitacre and Dan Akerson. They were on the job when the U.S. government owned a significant share of the automaker. Hilliard said he wants to get “every CEO who was there during the active cover up,” according to the Detroit News. (more…)

GM Death Toll at 107 as Feds Find Criminal Wrongdoing

Hefty fines could follow

by on May.26, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra testified before congressional subcommittees four times due to GM's recall of 2.6 million vehicles last year.

The official death toll from faulty General Motors ignition switches has jumped again, to 107. At the same time, federal prosecutors have reportedly decided there was criminal wrongdoing in the way the maker handled the defect, taking more than a decade to order a recall.

Whether any individual will be prosecuted for the flawed handling of the ignition switch problem is uncertain, but hefty fines appear likely to follow, with the New York Times reporting that the ongoing investigation could be wrapped up by summer.

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Those fines could run well in excess of the money GM already has laid out to settle claims filed with a victims’ compensation fund. Last year, GM set aside $400 million to cover potential claims. By the time of the filing deadline on January 31, administrator Kenneth Feinberg reported receiving 4,342 separate claims.

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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…)

Automakers Blow Away Recall Record by 100 Percent

Companies recall 63.95 million vehicles in 2014.

by on Feb.13, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra testified before congressional subcommittees four times due to GM's recall of 2.6 million vehicles last year.

When General Motors initiated the first major recall of the year last January, it triggered a tsunami of actions that had observers wondering not if the industry would break the record of 30.8 million, but by how much.

The answer, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is more than 100%. There were 63.95 million vehicles recalled last year in the U.S., surpassing the previous record set in 2004.

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GM led the assault on the record with nearly 27 million vehicles and 84 recalls. The most public of those being related to faulty ignition switches on 2.6 million small cars built more than a decade ago. Those switches are the cause of 52 deaths and more than 70 injuries. (more…)

GM Gets Deadline Flurry of Compensation Claims

Fund receives 455 total filings for death benefits.

by on Feb.03, 2015

GM saw 1,100 new filings for benefits from its victims compensation fund just before the Jan. 31 deadline.

The Jan. 31 deadline for claims to General Motors’ victim compensation fund spurred a flurry of 1,100 new filings.

The rush brought the total number of filings to 4,180, including 455 death benefits: an increase from 338 the week prior. Claims for the most severe injuries rose to 278, up from 224 a week earlier, and filings for less severe injuries jumped to 3,447 from 2,508 a week earlier.

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The fund is administered by Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney whose firm oversaw similar funds related to the BP oil spill and other issues, who said in a radio interview yesterday that he expects the total number of filings to rise a bit more because any claims post marked for Jan. 31 will be accepted. (more…)

Chrysler Recalls 349,000 Vehicles for Ignition Switch Defect

One crash linked to defect.

by on Sep.25, 2014

The 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the vehicles covered by Chrysler's ignition switch recall.

General Motors isn’t the only automaker facing problems with ignition switches. Chrysler is recalling 349,442 older sedans, wagons and SUVs because of a problem that could inadvertently lead vehicles to shut off while being driven.

The announcement is one of the latest involving faulty ignition switches, though the most notorious case involves 2.6 million small cars produced by GM that were recalled last February and which have since been blamed for at least 21 deaths.

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In the case of Chrysler, the ignition switches may inadvertently slip out of the Run position without a driver’s intervention. In some cases, that will simply shut off accessories such as the windshield wipers. But if the key turns all the way to the Off position, the vehicle’s engine may then shut off, leading to a potential loss of control and possible crash.

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GM Smacked with New Lawsuit Alleging 29 Deaths

Maker’s crashworthiness honor offset by new suit.

by on Jul.30, 2014

A new lawsuit against GM claims the compensation fund designed Kenneth Feinberg doesn't go far enough.

General Motors’ ignition switch recall has triggered a new lawsuit in which the plaintiffs are claiming that 29 people have died and 627 were injured in accidents in which the defective part was a factor.

The lawsuit, Abney vs. General Motors, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which is emerging as the venue for cases against GM. The quasi-official number of deaths blamed on the defective ignition switch now stands at 13, according to figures from GM and the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration.

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The suit also attacks GM’s efforts to settle out of court with injured motorists through a procedure established by New York attorney Kenneth Feinberg. It covers claims that would not be eligible for the program, according to Robert Hilliard, the lawyer who filed the suit. The ineligible claims, according to Hillard, include accidents involving cars not among the 2.6 million vehicles initially recalled for switch issues and accidents in which the car’s airbags deployed. (more…)

My Car’s Been Recalled: Now What?

Recall notice provides next steps on getting repair completed.

by on Jul.23, 2014

If you find this in your mailbox, don't panic. Open it to find out what you need to do to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive.

Due to the sheer number of vehicles recalled in the United States this year – in excess of 40 million – you very well may have a vehicle that is involved in some sort of safety-related service action.

So, the big question is: what do I do now?

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Well, first: don’t ignore that notice. Experts warn that even seemingly minor recalls can involve life-threatening defects and must be dealt with. (more…)