Serious problems with the ignition switch in multiple General Motors (GM) car models have been directly linked to incidents of the vehicle unexpectedly shutting off. The airbags, power steering, and power brakes would all become disabled once the power fluctuated or deactivated. GM CEO Mary Barra has been quoted as saying, “People were hurt and people died in our cars.”
In recent years, automobile recalls are not out of the ordinary, as unfortunate as that may be. This scandal is somewhat unique, however, as GM has admitted to knowing about the ignition switch issue almost a decade ago; yet, the recall was only started early last year.
U.S Attorney Preet Bharara is fronting a criminal charge against GM as a whole, but no individual executives are being charged. The criminal prosecutor cites that it would be difficult to put the negligence on anyone’s shoulders in particular. If GM complies with federal authorities in terms of recall and vehicle improvement requirements, however, the criminal charges will be dropped after a 3 year probationary period.
(A full article on the issue has been published by CNN: Money and may be seen here.)
How are Victims Seeking Compensation?
Although GM may be more or less absolved of any criminal responsibility for their alleged negligence, they are still under the gavel for civil lawsuits being filed against them. Thus far, they have agreed to settle a class action involving nearly 1,400 cases of wrongful death or serious injuries due to ignition switch failures among other problems. As an estimated 30 million vehicles will ultimately be recalled, this one class action is certainly not the last the company will need to face.
Do you need to file a lawsuit against GM for injuries you or a loved one suffered? There is still time to make your claim with a professional Missouri personal injury attorney from DeFeo & Kolker, LLC. Contact us today for more information, or to request a free case evaluation with our lawyers.