The legal problems for GM after its faulty ignition switch recall are far from over. Find out the latest on the auto giant's legal woes.
Over the past few years GM has been under intense public, media and legal scrutiny for one of its largest auto recalls ever. In 2014, the automaker giant recalled approximately 2.4 million Chevy Cobalts for faulty ignitions and over 30 million vehicles worldwide. Admitting to knowing about the faulty ignition switch for over a decade, the defect has been linked to serious injuries and deaths. The motor company has been settling with plaintiffs ever since, paying out $200 million to victims and taking out a compensation fund, putting aside $874 million in expected future recall costs. However, the continued costs for GM look to be far from over. Nevertheless, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber has stayed these cases until it is determined whether or not his ruling will be upheld regarding protection for the "old GM" or pre-bankruptcy GM. These cases may ultimately be treated differently than "new GM" cases or those arising out of cars manufactured after 2009. Thus, the civil claims are temporarily on hold.
A death toll that keeps on rising
Early on when GM's ignition recall was first being reported on, the death toll was at 30 victims. This has increased substantially since 2014, with deaths related to GM's faulty ignition switch being linked to over 107 victims. This number could very well go up as there are still cases under review.
Impending criminal charges for GM
The largest automaker in the country, GM's legal problems related to the faulty ignition recall are still ongoing. An investigation by the Justice Department has led to impending criminal charges. Federal prosecutors are currently in negotiations with GM, who has been cooperative thus far in coming to a deal. Whether this will be a plea deal or a "deferred-prosecution judgment" is yet to be seen.
In a plea deal with federal prosecutors, GM would be admitting guilt. This has other serious implications for the automaker other than continued public scrutiny such as regulatory fall-outs. A deferred-prosecution judgment would not necessarily result in a conviction but instead a suspended prosecution of criminal charges as long as GM maintains compliance with the prosecutor's requirements. Regardless of how GM and federal prosecutors reach a deal, a substantial fine estimated to be in the billion dollar range will still be handed down. Even if GM and the federal government are able to reach a deal, this still leaves other civil lawsuits at the state level GM will have to face.
Knowledgeable injury lawyer can help you
The legal implications of GM's faulty ignition recall do not seem to be ending anytime soon. If you believe you are a victim as a result of a defective automobile made by GM, obtaining a skilled attorney who is familiar with GM's recall history is a recommended course of action.