General Motors ended March by adding another 800,000 + cars to its ignition switch recall. Earlier in the month plaintiffs’ attorneys moved to consolidate a number of personal injury lawsuits against the carmaker. Many of the lawsuits are seeking class action status, and the attorneys believe treating the claims as multidistrict litigation would be more efficient for the judicial system and fairer to both the defendant and the plaintiffs. The attorneys suggested that the consolidated actions be heard by the same California judge that heard the consolidated sudden acceleration cases against Toyota Motor Corp.
While the defect itself is troubling the fact that it appears that GM sat on information about the defect for a decade is unconscionable. The delay in responding will likely add to any awards GM may pay, but the sad reality is that the General Motors didn’t violate any laws or break any rules by withholding the information. This is what two U.S. senators would like to change.
They have introduced a bill that would require automakers and auto equipment manufacturers to respond more quickly and with greater transparency to reports of fatalities involving their vehicles. Under this bill, instead of sending the information to agencies like the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, the companies would automatically submit crash reports. Once submitted, the companies would release the information to the general public. Anything that falls under a Freedom of Information Act exemption, of course, would be excluded.
The overall objective is to speed the process of sharing information with anyone who potentially needs it. Regulators can then begin to monitor the carmaker’s progress in addressing the problem, and consumers can be armed with information when buying a new vehicle. The pressure from regulators and consumers will offer the car companies a powerful incentive to fix the problem before anyone else gets hurt. GM executives are likely in for a challenging April.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash you need to get medical attention for any injuries and then you need to protect your rights under the law. That is where we come in. The Law office of Guenard and Bozarth has over 6 decades of combined experience and We Can Help! Feel free to call us at 888-809-1075 or visit our website at We have experienced attorneys you can talk to 24/7/365.