The Wall Street Journal reports that the defective ignition switches are so far linked to 124 deaths across the U.S. GM also agreed to pay $900 million to end the two-year criminal investigation of its failure to disclose the potentially lethal flaw in the switches.
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Pittsburgh readers of the Journal know the automaker’s response to the announcement of the settlement leaves some people wondering how much the company has really learned. GM CEO Mary Barra said, “I believe that our response has been unprecedented in terms of candor, cooperation, transparency and compassion.”
Federal prosecutors say a compensation fund set up by GM might wind up costing the company $625 million to be paid out to victims in ignition-switch cases. As part of its end of the deal, the government agreed to defer criminal prosecution for three years. If the company lives up to the terms of the agreement, charges will be dismissed.
Last year, Toyota agreed in a similar safety case to pay $1.2 billion involving unintended-acceleration problems with vehicles.
Many people harmed by defective motor vehicles suffer severe injuries that leave them with permanent medical issues. As we can see from the admissions by GM and Toyota, the defective parts in vehicles also cause deaths that rob families of loved ones. For 40 years, our law firm has been helping families and injury victims hold carmakers accountable for dangerous defects.
Please see our Pittsburgh Auto Defect Attorneys page to learn more about Berger and Green.