GM to settle state ignition claims for $120 million
- Author: Megan Austin Oct 20, 2017,
Oct 20, 2017, 0:46
General Motors Co. will pay out $120 million in a multi-state settlement over its defective ignition switches. "This settlement will help us investigate and prosecute similar cases of corporate misconduct in order to protect Pennsylvanians". That year, GM issued seven vehicle recalls in response to unintended key-rotation and ignition-switch issues, which have affected more than 9 million vehicles nationwide.
In a statement, GM acknowledged the settlement and its objective of safety.
"We're holding General Motors accountable for misleading consumers about the safety of their cars and changing their corporate behavior so public safety comes first", Pennsylvania AG Shapiro said in a news release announcing the settlement between GM and 49 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia.
GM agreed in September 2015 to pay $900 million to settle the Justice Department probe, which resulted in prosecutors charging the auto maker with criminal wire fraud and scheming to hide a deadly safety defect from US regulators. If a collision occurs while the ignition switch is in the "Accessory" or "Off" position, the vehicle's safety airbags may also fail to deploy, increasing the risk of serious injury or death in certain types of crashes in which the airbag was otherwise created to deploy.
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Caldwell said the settlement assures "GM will continue ongoing improvements it's made to ensure the safety of its vehicles. I'm pleased that this matter has come to a close, that families will be protected from this defect, and that GM will have more appropriate guarantees regarding recalls and repairs of their vehicles".
West Virginia's share of the settlement is approximately $1.27 million.
As the states alleged, certain employees of GM and General Motors Corporation, knew as early as 2004 that the ignition switch posed a safety defect because it could cause airbag non-deployment. The company marketed those vehicles as reliable and safe. Dealerships must make sure recall repairs are complete before they can sell the vehicle.