Earlier this year General Motors (GM) agreed to pay $1 million in a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC). The Detroit News reports that the civil penalty is a result of the SEC’s investigation into GM’s ignition switch recall. A recall that led to nearly 2.6 million motor vehicles to be serviced for faulty ignition switches that GM was aware of for more than 10 years and had refused to address. The malfunction in the ignition switches could flip the switch from the run position and prevent the airbags from deploying in case of a car crash and caused several injuries and linked to 124 deaths.
GM Ignition Switch Cost
Despite the settlement agreement with the SEC, GM clarified that just because a settlement was reached with the SEC, did not mean they were admitting any wrongdoing. GM even made a statement that the settlement with the SEC, “does not call into question any of GM’s current or prior financial statements or its disclosures. Also, no material weakness or significant deficiency was found by the SEC.”
To date, the GM ignition-switch crisis has cost the company more than $2 billion in penalties, fines, and settlements including the $600 million spent in compensation and lawsuits to the victims and their families, a civil penalty that was worth $35 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and $900 million paid in a settlement to the Justice Department. So it comes as no surprise that GM is arguing that deaths and claims that occurred before their 2009 bankruptcy filing should not be admissible at court.
GM Bankruptcy Appeal
A federal court permitted claimants with cases involving wrongful death, personal injury and even economic loss to court with proper proof due to the fact that GM may have been aware of the ignition switch defect. GM argues that under bankruptcy law that there are not responsible for past liabilities related to “Old GM” and that they are essentially wiped out under bankruptcy law. But with the backing of the Supreme court, several hundred remaining claims made on or before 2009 can proceed to trial.
“There are a lot of cases out there that either are going to have to be settled by G.M. or litigated, now that the Supreme Court is not getting involved,” said Robert C. Hilliard in The New York Times, a lawyer that is handling more than 200 claims against GM.
In the meantime, GM is not accepting the Supreme court's ruling and will continue to fight and file appeals to remove the court's decision since it was not based on the merits of bankruptcy law. Those who have a case that takes place before 2009 should move quickly in submitting their claim so that it will be heard and possibly receive proper payment.
The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC is a civil litigation law firm in Birmingham, Michigan. Our legal team handles personal injury lawsuits throughout the state. Call a Michigan personal injury attorney for a free consult at 844.4MI.FIRM. You deserve a great attorney in your corner.