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Toyota Motor Corp. 110 articles

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

GM issues five new safety recalls affecting 2.67 million vehicles

General Motors (GM) announced another slew of safety recalls Thursday encompassing about 2.9 million vehicles globally. Most of the recalled vehicles – about 2.67 million – are in the United States. The largest of the five new recalls affects about 2.44 million Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, and Saturn Aura cars from the 2004 to 2012 model years. GM says that the brake light wires can potentially corrode on these vehicles, causing the brake lights to quit working. GM first discovered the problem six years ago but has only issued an advisory to its dealerships and fixed a small number of ... Read More

Did GM’s top execs remain in the dark on ignition switch defect?

How much General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra knew about the company’ defective ignition switches before she took the top seat on January 15 has been the source of much speculation, and now Congressional investigators are trying to determine whether she and other top executives may have had more involvement in the problem than they have acknowledged. According to Reuters, emails, internal reports, and other GM documents obtained by Congress show that two former Barra lieutenants, Jim Frederico and Terry Woychowski, worked with the GM engineer who led an internal probe of the ignition switch problem from August 2011 to ... Read More

Fourth GM executive leaves company in wake of defective ignition switch delayed recalls

Another General Motors (GM) executive who studied the automaker’s faulty ignition switches before they were recalled in February will leave GM after nearly four decades with the company. The retirement of Jim Federico, GM’s executive director of global vehicle performance, safety, proving grounds and test labs, brings the number of top officials to retire or resign to four since GM finally recalled the defective part more than a decade after first discovering it. Mr. Frederico led an internal analysis of the ignition switch defect in 2012, according to GM documents obtained by Congress and recently released. Although court documents and ... Read More