LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette on October 19th announced Michigan will receive a $4,291,165.45 settlement from General Motors Company (GM) over allegations GM concealed safety issues related to ignition-switch-related defects in their vehicles, as part of a $120 million multi-state settlement.
“There is no denying having cars on the road with faulty ignition switches was dangerous,” said Schuette. “Today’s settlement shows General Motors is taking responsibility and committed to moving forward and creating quality cars Michigan residents can trust.”
The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 49 states, the District of Columbia and GM concludes a multi-state investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to timely disclose known safety defects associated with unintended key-rotation-related and/or ignition-switch-related issues in several models and model years of GM vehicles. The money from the settlement will go into the state’s General Fund. This settlement does not include the significant amount of restitution GM has paid to individual consumers.
In 2014, GM issued seven vehicle recalls in response to unintended key-rotation-related and/or ignition-switch-related issues, which have affected over 600,000 vehicles in Michigan. The recalls involved a defective ignition switch which, under certain conditions, could move out of the “Run” position to the “Accessory” or “Off” position. If this occurs, the driver experiences a loss of electrical systems, including power steering and power brakes. 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 designed to deploy.
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. However, despite this knowledge, GM personnel decided it wasn’t a safety concern and delayed making recalls. GM continued to market the reliability and safety of its motor vehicles which were equipped with this defective ignition switch.
The states alleged that these actions were unfair and deceptive and that the automaker’s actions violated state consumer protection laws.
In addition to the monetary settlement with the participating attorneys general, under a consent judgment which will be presented to the Ingham County Circuit Court, GM shall:
Not represent that a motor vehicle is “safe” unless they have complied with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards applicable to the motor vehicle at issue.
Not represent that certified pre-owned vehicles that GM advertises are safe, have been repaired for safety issues, or have been subject to rigorous inspection, unless such vehicles are not subject to any open recalls relating to safety or have been repaired pursuant to such a recall.
Instruct its dealers that all applicable recall repairs must be completed before any GM motor vehicle sold in the U.S. and included in a recall is eligible for certification and, if there is a recall on any certified pre-owned vehicle sold in the U.S., the required repair must be completed before the vehicle is delivered to a customer.
Led by Ohio, South Carolina, Michigan Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas, the multistate group also includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
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