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General Motors 130 articles

Coal ash spill among top news stories in Tennessee

The Associated Press and AP member newspapers and broadcasters have listed the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) coal ash spill as one of the biggest news events in Tennessee in 2009. The coal ash spill occurred on Dec. 22, 2008, but the fallout reverberated well into 2009, dominating headlines across the nation. Last December, 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash spilled out from an impoundment pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., plant and onto 300 acres of a neighboring community. The spill, piled as high as nine feet in some areas, knocked houses from their foundations, destroyed property and contaminated ... Read More

Toyota issued misleading and inaccurate recall info, NHTSA says

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a statement on Thursday to correct what it said was “inaccurate and misleading information” announced and circulated by Toyota about its latest safety recall. The car manufacturer is recalling 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to correct a defect that can cause the vehicles to accelerate suddenly and unintentionally. Since the NHTSA first announced the recall on September 29, there has been a lot of conflicting information and confusion about the cause and solution of unintended acceleration in the recalled vehicles. Early media reports claimed that floor mats caused the problem because ... Read More

Toyota may use “smart pedal” to fix unintended accleration problem

A safety feature common in most German vehicles, which reduces the likelihood of an unintended acceleration, could have prevented the injuries and deaths of people caught in runaway Toyotas. According to a report published by the New York Times, the technology isn’t new. It just hasn’t been adopted by most automobile manufacturers outside of Germany. Toyota, however, is reportedly considering implementing this technology as a solution to the acceleration problems in up to 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota announced last month that it would soon issue a vehicle recall over concerns that the driver’s side floor mats can ... Read More

New Chrysler accepts responsibility for older models

Chrysler Group LLC, formed when Chrysler LLC reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last spring, changed its stance on lawsuits filed by or on behalf of drivers and passengers who were injured in pre-bankruptcy Chrysler model vehicles. The new Chrysler says it will now assume accountability for the older cars and trucks. The old Chrysler faced 160 lawsuits filed by people injured in defective Chrysler vehicles – lawsuits that the company originally intended to leave behind in bankruptcy court. Chrysler spokesman Michael Palese said that the newly formed company, of which Fiat owns a 20 percent stake, is more confident ... Read More

Report finds Chrysler, GM bankruptcies jeopardize public safety

Safety Research & Strategies, Inc., a research firm that specializes in motor vehicle issues and safety, recently published a comprehensive report entitled “Public Safety at Risk: Bankruptcies Leave Legacy of Defects, Injuries and Death.” The report presents a concise, statistically supported argument about the dangers of allowing Chrysler and General Motors to shed all liability claims as part of their bankruptcy and restructuring. The bankruptcy terms will excuse the car manufacturers from being held accountable for defective and dangerous automobiles and components that have already injured and killed thousands of people and threaten to injure and kill thousands more. Studying ... Read More

Chrysler, GM bankruptcy deals strip victims of legal recourse

Dozens of accident victims and their lawyers made their way to Washington, DC, and the halls of Capitol Hill last week, urging lawmakers and the Obama administration to protect their ability to pursue medical claims against Chrysler and General Motors. In a May 31 ruling, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Arthur Gonzalez overruled objections lodged by the Ad Hoc Committee of Consumer-Victims of Chrysler LLC and other consumer groups when he approved the sale of Chrysler to Italy’s Fiat, free and clear of outstanding legal claims against the U.S. car manufacturer. Gonzalez effectively ruled that only liabilities that promote Fiat’s commercial ... Read More

Beasley Allen files lawsuit in Geo Tracker rollover death case

MONTGOMERY, ALA. – Beasley Allen attorney J. Cole Portis has filed a lawsuit for an Alabama woman whose husband was killed in a vehicular rollover accident while driving his 1993 Geo Tracker. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division, and names as Defendants Suzuki Motor Corporation; American Suzuki Motor Corporation; General Motors; General Motors of Canada, Ltd.; Cami Automotive Inc.; Takata Inc.; Takata-Fischer Corporation; Takata Fabrication Corporation; and Key Safety Restraint Sysytems, Inc. Beasley Allen filed the complaint jointly with Robert Riley, Jr. of the Birmingham, Ala. Firm Riley & Jackson. ... Read More

Ford memo: the smoking gun

The Ford Pinto is a car that became notoriously associated with fuel-fed crash fires in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the compact vehicle showed a propensity for catching fire when involved in even low-speed crashes. In 1977, a Ford Memo revealed that the company was aware of design problems with the Pinto that made it more susceptible to crash-related fires, but that it had deemed the overall benefits of redesigning the automobile – which included preventing an average of 180 deaths each year – to be not worth the cost – an estimated $11 per automobile. Company documents ... Read More

Low auto roof standards are often deadly in rollovers

The American standard for automobile roof strength, which has been in effect since the 1970s, has been “a total, ineffective disaster,” according to automobile expert Byron Bloch in an investigative report by WBNS TV of Columbus, Ohio. Bloch, whose knowledge of automobile roofs has played a role in court testimonials throughout the country, is not alone in his opinion. The report uncovered other automotive industry professionals who echoed similar thoughts. Why the chorus of disapproval? First is the number of fatalities. According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 273,000 rollover crashes occur every year, killing ... Read More

How much is your life worth?

So how much do you think your life is worth? $100M? $20M? $420? According to a 1973 General Motors memo, the value of your life is $200,000. Evidently, GM saved over $250M by letting a few hundred people burn to death in their cars. For nearly 30 years, automobile manufacturers have skirted the issue of fundamental design flaws that make cars prone to catch fire when involved in a crash. Engineers know how to relocate fuel tanks to make them less likely to leak or suffer punctures, but manufacturers have never been held responsible for ensuring their vehicles are safe. ... Read More