First Lawsuit Filed Against GM Over Recent Recall
The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court, claims that GM and its executives knew about the problem for more than a decade yet failed to take any action to address it. This failure created serious danger for drivers of the affected cars and impacted the resale value of the vehicles. The suit specifically says that the bungled recall not only created the possibility for physical harm to drivers, but also damaged the company’s reputation and thus cost owners money in terms of lost value.
The trouble at issue in the case concerns GM’s decision to recall more than a million cars earlier this year after it says it learned that flaws in the ignition systems could cause the cars to lose power and prevent airbags from deploying. Safety experts have said that the defect has led to potentially dozens of deaths, something GM denies.
Though GM only issued the recall this February, many believe the company first became aware of the ignition switch trouble back in 2001. In 2005, the company was obviously concerned enough about the trouble that it issued service bulletins to dealers that discussed ways of addressing the problem.
Plaintiffs in the case have asked GM to compensate them for the loss of the use of their vehicles, for repairs and for the money lost due to diminished resale value. GM has so far refused to comment on the case.
Though it may seem strange to sue car companies over lost resale value, this is far from a novel approach. Just recently, Toyota settled a major lawsuit against the company concerning the sudden acceleration cases that arose in 2009 and 2010. Those suits were settled in late 2012 and ended up costing Toyota more than $1.3 billion.
Owners of cars affected by the recall were given money to install new safety systems on their vehicles as well as money to compensate them for their diminished resale value. The settlement required Toyota to specifically set aside a quarter of a billion dollars to compensate former owners who sold or returned a leased Toyota model that had been impacted by the recall.
Though the money may not make consumers whole, it is nice to know that automakers that sell defective products can be held accountable for their actions in court. Car companies that are forced to pay for the harm they’ve caused hopefully learn lessons that can then be applied to the future.
If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective product and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney please contact the Georgia product liability litigation attorneys at Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.
Source: “Lawsuit says GM hid ignition defect in recalled cars,” by Jessica Dye, published at Reuters.com.
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