GM Recall News
General Motors (GM) has been fined $35 million in civil penalties as a result of the automaker failing to report a safety defect in certain recalled automobiles. At a news conference on May 16 concerning the GM Recall, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx stated, “Together these penalties should put all automakers on notice that there is no excuse and zero tolerance for failing to notify the federal government when a defect puts safety as risk.”
The fine stems from a review of company documents, citing problems with ignition switches, which date back to November 2009. These documents show that GM was aware of the risks drivers were facing due to the alleged defect, but nothing was done about the problem. The faulty switches would reportedly turn off at times, causing the air bags to not function. According to the New York Times, the GM Recall involves victims who ranged in age from 13 to 81. There were 10 accidents in nine states and in Canada, the latest in June 2013. All but one of the accidents noted in the GM Recall involved a single car, with the driver losing control and hitting an object. In every case, the air bag did not function. This is the largest number of deaths that involve autos and safety in the United States since the year 2000 when Ford had trouble with its Firestone tires.
David Friedman of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the evidence about the GM Recall “deeply disturbing.” He added that G.M. employees were urged to help obscure some of the problems that were happening with the faulty switches.
G.M. did not issue a recall of vehicles with this suspected problem until February of this year; nor did it inform the government. The GM Recall eventually involved more than two million Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions in addition to other small cars.
Although this was the largest penalty that could be inflicted upon the auto giant, U.S. lawmakers and safety advocates voiced objections to the penalties as being too small. G.M.’s chief executive since January, Mary T. Barra, testified before House and Senate committees in March of this year. She denied having any prior knowledge of the faulty switch problems.
Besides the House and Senate subcommittees, other investigators are aiming at G.M.’s practices. In addition, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the company concerning the GM Recall. David Friedman commented that automakers should “hear the clear message that they must react immediately to potential safety defects.”
If you or a loved one lives in Florida and have been injured in a GM vehicle involved in a GM recall, contact Attorney Group for Florida. We can help answer questions that concern Florida drivers about personal injury cases. Attorney Group for Florida can also connect you to a Florida attorney who can help to prepare a lawsuit for appropriate compensation if you have a case.