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civil fines 51 articles

Texas woman blamed for fiancé’s car crash death sues GM after it admits link to ignition switch defect

Candice Anderson, the Texas woman who was tried and convicted for killing her fiancé in a 2004 crash has filed a lawsuit against General Motors (GM) after discovering the automaker knew all along its ignition switch defect caused the crash. In Nov. 2004, Ms. Anderson was driving her 2004 Saturn Ion in Canton, Texas, with her fiancé Mikale Erickson when she lost control of the vehicle upon entering a slight curve in the road. The car left the road and crashed into a tree, throwing both driver and passenger through the windshield. Because the crash occurred in a rural part of Texas, an hour passed ... Read More

GM no longer paying daily ignition switch recall fines

General Motors (GM) is no longer paying federal fines for failing to answer questions about its handling of defective ignition switches and its failure to recall vehicles affected by the potentially deadly flaw. The automaker has been racking up fines of $7,000 per day since April 3, the deadline set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The safety regulator stopped the fines on April 5, the day GM turned in a 315-page report documenting the results of an internal investigation commissioned by GM. Total fines GM amassed came to about $430,000. NHTSA also fined GM $35 million for ... Read More

The “GM nod” illustrates GM’s incompetent handling of deadly ignition switches

Last week, General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra told GM employees and journalists that an internal investigation of the way the company handled its deadly ignition switch problem did not find a “conspiracy by the corporation to cover up the facts.”  However, the investigation did reveal something equally bad, if not worse: a company defined by incompetence and willful ignorance. One of the defining characteristics of GM’s corporate culture was, according to the report by investigator Anton Valukas, the “GM nod,” which he described as a situation “when everyone nods in agreement to a proposed plan of action, but then ... Read More

Without trial lawyers, would families have chance at justice against GM for ignition switch defect?

When Brooke Melton’s 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt suddenly lost power and crashed on a rainy night, killing her on her 29th birthday, her parents knew in their hearts that a defect in her automobile was to blame. The same problem – her car stalled while she was driving it – had happened to Brooke just three days before, prompting her father, Ken Melton, to insist they take it to a dealership for repairs. After the fatal crash, the gut feeling Mr. Melton and his wife Beth had that the car was to blame for their daughter’s death was so strong, they ... Read More

Texas woman convicted of manslaughter learns GM ignition switch caused fiancé’s crash death

A Texas woman who became a convicted felon for causing a 2004 car crash that killed her fiancé has learned that General Motors (GM) counts the accident as one of 13 deaths it blames on its defective ignition switches. Candice Anderson was driving her 2004 Saturn Ion in Canton, Texas, with her fiancé Mikale Erickson in November 2004 when she lost control of the vehicle and crashed. Mr. Erickson, the father of two small children, was killed. Ms. Anderson was thrown through the windshield and barely survived the crash herself. The vehicle’s airbags never deployed. Police could find no causes ... Read More

“Incompetence and neglect” drove GM’s handling of defective ignition switch, report finds

General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra responded Thursday morning to the findings of an internal investigation led by lawyer Anton Valukas into the company’s handling of an ignition switch defect, saying that the probe found “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” within the company. “I can tell you, this report is extremely thorough, brutally tough and deeply troubling,” Ms. Barra said of Mr. Valukas’ conclusions. “For those of us who have dedicated our lives to this company, it is enormously painful to see our shortcomings laid out so vividly. As I read the report, I was deeply saddened and disturbed.” ... Read More

Reuters analysis finds GM ignition switch defect may have killed 74

According to an analysis of federal fatal crash data conducted by Reuters, at least 74 people have died in General Motors (GM) car crashes in which a faulty ignition switch could be to blame. The Reuters analysis is the second independent study to indicate that defective ignition switches may responsible for dozens more fatalities than the 13 GM has linked to the problem. Reuters combed through the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a database of crash records from local law enforcement agencies, for crashes involving front collisions, frontal airbag failure, and the death of a driver or front-seat passenger. The ... Read More

Canadian authorities open investigation of GM ignition-switch deaths

Canada’s top-ranking transportation official confirmed Tuesday that her agency has opened an investigation of two fatal GM vehicle crashes in which the airbags failed to deploy, and whether those crashes are a result of the Detroit automaker’s ignition switch defect. A GM spokesman said the two Canadian crashes were included in its ignition-switch crash figures. The Detroit automaker has said the ignition switch defect, which can allow keys to slip out of position and cut power to the engine, is to blame for 13 deaths. GM also linked the switch defect to 31 crashes originally, but last week raised the ... Read More

Mounting evidence shows GM’s knowledge of ignition switch defect more widespread than claimed

As a number of investigations progress into General Motors (GM) and why it failed for 13 years to recall its defective ignition switches, more and more evidence collected in the probes indicates awareness of the problem went far beyond a few mid-level employees, as GM has claimed. According to the New York Times, GM’s legal department, including its general counsel, “acted with increasing urgency in the last 12 months to grapple with the spreading impact of the ignition problem.” Depositions ordered in litigation involving the defective switches also threatened to implicate GM executives, prompting several departments to step up their ... Read More

GM to pay maximum penalty for mishandling ignition switch recall

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced Friday that General Motors (GM) will pay a civil fine of $35 million for its mishandling of an ignition switch defect recall. Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hit GM with the maximum fine allowable under current U.S. law, Secretary Foxx said he will push lawmakers to raise the penalties for such violations to $300 million. The proposed hike will almost certainly trigger an outcry from the auto lobby, but it shouldn’t. NHTSA only hits automakers with maximum fines when there is clear evidence that they failed to issue a timely recall, ... Read More