In one of the largest auto recalls in history, the last year has seen a drama of denials, fines, court battles, and announcements from GM. The major auto manufacturer faces lawsuits pertaining to a potentially fatal ignition switch flaw that can cause cars to suddenly shut down or steering to lock up. This defect has been implicated in 13 fatalities since it was revealed to the company nearly a decade ago.
In addition to fines for covering up the defect, the company has faced a recall of over 30 million vehicles across the globe. A $3 billion charge, $35 million in fines to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and a $400 million fund to compensate injured customers have been estimated to hit the company hard. So far, the company has shown little signs of the devastation that could follow such a recall, but the summer has shown GM finally facing a financial downturn from the crisis.
Among the many hiccups along the road, GM’s recall website malfunctioned when telling customers if their car was included in the recall. Even through the first week of August of this year, the website would tell some customers that their cars had not been recalled if parts were not available to repair it, even if the car had been deemed unsafe. GM states that the website should be functioning correctly at this time.
Kenneth Feinberg has been delegated by GM to oversee the compensation program for victims of the faulty ignition switch. He has stated that the fund will accept claims from August 1 through December 31 of 2014, and he expects most of the amounts to be settled by mid-2015. He has established a website for victims to consult with information regarding required documents and protocols for claims.
Little known to many current owners of recalled cars is the fact that GM has a loaner car program in place. This option may provide a safe vehicle while customers wait for their car to be replaced or have parts repaired.
If your car is part of the GM recall crisis, or you have been injured through the malfunction of a GM vehicle, you may have grounds to seek compensation. You may be able to turn to the compensation fund for recompense, or you may need to seek a more appropriate amount in court than you’ve been offered. No matter the case, the attorneys of The Potts Law Firm can confidently analyze your case and help you decide the best way to proceed.