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General Motors 130 articles

Official GM ignition switch death toll hits 64

General Motors (GM) has now opted to compensate seven more families of deceased victims killed by the automaker’s defective ignition switches, raising the total amount of death claims accepted by GM to 64. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, the claims administrator hired by GM to evaluate claims and operate the fund established to compensate victims of the deadly ignition switch recalls, announced that the accepted ignition switch personal injury claims increased by 108. Since the GM ignition switch victim compensation fund began taking claims in August, Mr. Feinberg has received a total of approximately 4,343 claims. The deadline for the ignition switch claims ... Read More

Auto industry whistleblower bill moves to Senate floor

Sudden unintended acceleration, exploding airbags, and faulty ignition switches — to name just a few of the safety defect scandals that have rocked the auto industry lately – could become less common with the passage of a new bill aimed at empowering and protecting whistleblowers within the auto industry. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted unanimously last week to send the bi-partisan crafted Motor Vehicle Whistleblower Act to the Senate floor for a vote. If approved by the full chamber, it would go to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. If passed by the House and signed ... Read More

New auto industry whistleblower bill would expose safety defects, misconduct

Propelled by the General Motors’ deadly ignition switch disaster and the record number of vehicles recalled industry-wide last year, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is pushing for support of a new bill that would give more incentives to whistleblowers who expose potentially deadly automotive defects. The Motor Vehicle Whistleblower Act was introduced by Commerce Committee Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) on Nov. 20, 2014, in a previous session of Congress, but not enacted. The senators reintroduced S. 2949, as the bill is called in the Senate, last week. If enacted, the auto industry whistleblower bill would grant the transportation ... Read More

GM ignition switch fund deadline approaches, 50 death and 75 injury claims approved

General Motors ignition switch compensation fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg has approved 50 claims for death and 75 claims for personal injury just before the deadline to file claims for damages related to defective ignition switches in GM vehicles arrives on Jan. 31. Mr. Feinberg, who has also administered funds established for the victims of the BP oil spill, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the 9-11 terror attacks, reported that the GM ignition switch fund received has received 338 claims for death and 2,730 claims for injury since it began accepting claims in August. Many of the claims remain under review ... Read More

GM starts New Year with new ignition switch recall

General Motors (GM) said on New Year’s Day that it is recalling more than 92,000 full-size trucks and SUVS for a potentially deadly ignition lock system flaw that could allow the ignition to stick in the “start” position and suddenly snap back into the “accessory” position. The latest recall affects 92,221 trucks and SUVs in North America, including 83, 572 vehicles in the United States. GM said that the ignition lock actuators in the vehicles may be too wide, making the ignition key difficult to turn in hot conditions. If stuck in the “start” position, the ignition could suddenly release back ... Read More

Judge orders GM to release former CEO’s reports on ignition switch case

A federal judge ordered General Motors (GM) to give customers suing the automaker the 2009 performance evaluations of former Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner, especially those that relate to ignition switch issues. Bloomberg reports that attorney Anton Valukas, whom GM hired to investigate how the company responded to the defective ignition switches, said that Mr. Wagoner may have watched a presentation that demonstrated how the ignition switch problem caused Chevrolet Cobalts to stall. Mr. Wagoner resigned three weeks later. Should GM produce documents showing Mr. Wagoner knew of the ignition switch defect, which has been linked to dozens of deaths ... Read More

Senate bill seeks to create whistleblower program for auto industry

A bill that could encourage whistleblowers within the auto industry to report safety problems that automakers may try to hide from U.S. consumers and safety regulators was introduced last week by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla). If passed, the Thune-Nelson Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act would give the secretary of transportation the authority to award whistleblowers up to 30 percent of the total fines automakers must pay for violating federal safety regulations. Under the provisions of the proposed whistleblower program, employees and contractors of auto manufacturers, part suppliers, and dealerships would be eligible for the whistleblower reward ... Read More

Judge clears Texas woman of fiancé’s death in GM ignition switch crash

A Texas woman’s criminal record has been cleared 10 years and nine days after being convicted of her boyfriend’s death in a 2004 crash that happened when she lost control of her General Motors-made Saturn Ion and crashed into a tree. Ms. Anderson was just 21 when the deadly GM ignition switch crash occurred. She was driving her 2004 Ion in Canton, Texas, with her fiancé, Gene Mikale Erickson, a 25-year-old father of two, in the passenger seat when she lost control of the vehicle as it entered a slight curve, striking a tree and throwing both her and Mr. Erickson through the ... Read More

GM defective ignition switch victim compensation fund has extended deadline for claim submissions

The deadline to submit wrongful-death and personal-injury claims to a fund set up for victims of the General Motors (GM) defective ignition switches has been extended for an additional month. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the special GM victim compensation fund, chose to extend the December 31 deadline to January 31 “out of an abundance of caution” to make sure everyone who may have been harmed by the ignition switch defect has a fair shot at filing a claim. The ignition switch fund began accepting claims on August 1, a few months after GM announced it was launching a ... Read More

Newly released emails contradict GM’s stance on ignition switch defect and recall

More evidence that General Motors (GM) knew of its deadly ignition switch defect long before it informed federal auto safety regulators and initiated a recall of the affected vehicles has emerged in a chain of internal GM emails released by plaintiff’s attorney Monday. According to the Associated Press, the chain of emails occurred from December 2013 through February 2014 and shows a GM employee inquiring about replacement parts for the flawed ignition switches and then ordering them for up to 700,000 vehicles at a cost of about $3 million. By law, auto manufacturers must inform the National Highway Traffic Safety ... Read More