Events Leading to the GM Ignition Switch Recall and Compensation Fund
GM’s recall of nearly 2.6 million vehicles in 2014 began a decade after individuals inside the company were first aware of the defective ignition switch, according to recent reports. The defect causes the ignition key to slip out of the “run” position while the car is in motion, shutting off airbags, power steering and power brakes. Results have been deadly and catastrophic, with drivers losing control of vehicles, without the ability to brake, steer, and without the benefit of an airbag.
Media reports over the past year indicate that GM knew of the potential defect as early as 2001, and did not act for over a decade despite several internal memos informing the company about the defective ignition switches. GM has recalled a total of over 30 million cars and trucks in 2014 alone.
As a result, in August 2014, GM initiated a claims program to compensate victims of vehicle crashes related to the faulty ignition switch. Through the program, eligible death claimants can receive more than $1 million, and the amount of compensation is not capped. In December 2014, Kenneth Feinberg (the attorney administering GM’s compensation program) confirmed that at least 36 deaths were caused by the defective ignition switch. He also acknowledged 44 claims of catastrophic injuries such as quadriplegia, brain damage or burns sustained in crashes. To date, the GM program has received 229 death claims and 1,986 injury claims. Additional deaths and injured parties will be confirmed by the program in the coming months.
The current deadline to make a claim against GM’s compensation fund is January 31, 2015. Please contact the Johnston Law Firm to discuss your case.
General Motors Recall Vehicle List
Potential Damages for People Injured by GM’s Defective Vehicles
Auto manufacturers, including GM, have a legal duty to promptly correct any known safety defects. Personal injury lawsuits against auto manufacturers for selling defective vehicles with safety flaws may include money damages for the following:
- Medical expenses;
- Loss of earnings and earning capacity;
- Physical pain and suffering, mental distress and physical impairment; and
- Punitive damages in cases of willful or malicious misconduct.
If a driver or occupant died, family members may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Contact our office today to discuss your case.
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