The U.S. Dept. of Transportation recently fined the highest possible civil sanction of $35 million on General Motors (GM) Corporation for untimely compliance with a GM recall. The giant automaker also faces additional fines for noncompliance with compulsory documentary disclosures during a related National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation.
In a May 16, 2014 press conference, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) Secretary Anthony Foxx said that penalizing General Motors to the fullest extent allowed by law was meant to send a message to all automakers that the agency takes its stated primary mission to protect public safety seriously. Thus, non-cooperation and failing to take prompt corrective measures will result in severe punitive consequences.
Foxx further disclosed the U.S. DOT’s intent to monitor GM’s future compliance with the recall and current lobbying efforts for the Grow America Act. Legislation was proposed that would increase maximum allowable penalties nearly tenfold to $300 million. This would create an even greater economic deterrent against delay or noncompliance with regulatory mandated safety-related recalls.
Possible Ignition Defects in Post-2002 GM models
DOT ordered the GM recall due to factory-installed defective ignitions in approximately 2.6 million vehicles sold across the United States, including Mississippi. The specific malfunction that triggered DOT’s recall of some post-2002 models reportedly causes moving automobiles to switch off, thus deactivating airbags. GM allegedly knew about this hazard but failed to notify owners and appropriate consumer safety agencies. During an April 2014 GM recall Congressional hearing, the company’s new CEO apologized to families of victims who died or sustained severe injury allegedly due to defective ignition devices.
Need Information About the GM Recall?
If you own a GM vehicle manufactured in 2003 or later, it has been advised to stop driving it right away and request a free rental until an authorized Mississippi GM dealer can replace the ignition at no cost. Insurance or rental fees may apply depending on the primary driver’s age, but GM has claimed they will reimburse those costs.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in an automobile affected by the GM recall, contact Attorney Group for Mississippi. We want to help you understand your rights in your particular situation, at no cost or obligation to you. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can help you file a lawsuit for compensation for damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.