GM failed to promptly issue recall after ignition switch safety defect
S. Department of Justice conducted criminal investigation into case
Government has identified criminal wrongdoing on part of GM
Record fine even larger than $1.2 billion Toyota penalty expected
We’ve posted about the GM safety switch defect recall in the past (most recently on March 17, 2014: GM’s Failure to Issue Safety Recall Led to Fatal Car Accidents?), but there was recently a big development in this case. The U.S. Department of Justice (the DOJ) has been conducting an investigation into GM’s reported failure to report the ignition switch safety defect for over 10 years. This apparent failure to report the defect led to at least 104 deaths in fatal car crashes. Now, the DOJ reports that it has found criminal wrongdoing on the part of GM as a result of its failure to earlier report the switch defect that only many years later led to a recall of 2.6 million of the company’s vehicles.
The criminal investigation into the GM matter was started by the DOJ in 2014 and was led by the New York U.S. Attorney’s office. It took into account whether GM followed relevant laws regarding safety defect disclosures and whether the automaker misled regulators as to how bad the defect issue was while its 2009 bankruptcy case was ongoing. Even though GM has supposedly cooperated more willingly than Toyota, it is still expected to be hit with a huge fine in the wake of this tragic case. This anticipated record fine will be in addition to the $35 million maximum fine imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2014.
While this may seem like a just punishment to many, the sad truth of this safety defect case is that it led to multiple fatal car crashes that forever changed the lives of many families. This can leave surviving relatives and friends feeling a sense of loss in addition to dealing with unexpected funeral and final expenses. Wrongful death laws in Missouri, Illinois, and the rest of the country allow surviving dependents the opportunity to file civil lawsuits to seek restitution in the wake of their losses. Our St. Louis car accident law firm is experienced in pursuing such wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits. Please consider calling us toll-free at 1-888-586-7041 to talk about your case. It will cost you nothing to make that call or to arrange a free initial consultation.
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