Following several other settlements, automaker General Motors Co. recently agreed to yet another one. This time, the company will settle a state attorneys general auto defects probe in all 50 states into what is deemed to be the mishandling of a defective ignition switch that apparently caused many injuries and numerous deaths in Pennsylvania and other states. GM will pay $120 million in settlement of this latest case.
The company acknowledged being aware of the safety problem with the defective ignition switches in approximately 2.6 million vehicles for about 10 years. However, it failed to admit to it during that time period and only initiated recalls in 2014. Additional recalls involving ignition switches that rotate unintentionally are also addressed in this settlement, bringing the total number of recalls covered to seven and affecting over nine million GM vehicles.
The faulty ignition switches can unexpectedly slip out of the run position, deactivating safety features such as airbags and more. This defect is reportedly linked to 124 fatalities. According to allegations by the state attorneys general, GM misled consumers for years by knowingly marketing vehicles with deadly safety defects.
Any victims of accidents caused by auto defects in Pennsylvania can seek recovery of damages through the civil justice system of the state, and the same goes for families who have lost loved ones in such crashes. However, taking on a conglomerate such as GM might be intimidating without the support and guidance of a savvy personal injury attorney. A lawyer with experience in navigating products liability lawsuits can work on establishing negligence and presenting documented claims for financial and emotional damages with the goal of obtaining a full monetary judgment.
Source: Fox Business, “GM Reaches $120 Million Ignition-Switch Settlement With State Attorneys General“, Mike Spector, Oct. 19, 2017