There have been a lot of defective auto parts recalls lately. In fact, there have been so many that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to force carmakers to reveal information vital to recalls sooner. Such an effort could save lives, but it has taken a long time to get to this point, and some victims of previous recalls are still suffering. Unfortunately, the pursuit of justice for some of these victims has only just begun.
Turning The Key: Are GM Ignition Lawsuits Reigniting?
The GM ignition switch recall only started in 2014, but evidence of the defect has existed since 2005. That’s when technical service bulletins started warning dealerships about the problem. Yet the company didn’t notify the NHTSA or the public. Three years later the economic recession hit, and GM was forced into bankruptcy. A new group of executives took over the automaker, and they rolled out the ignition switch recall. But by that point, over 100 people had died and over 250 had been injured.
In response to these devastating losses, victims and their families filed a class action lawsuit against GM. However, because the initial ignition switch defect happened before GM’s bankruptcy, many questioned if the new GM could be held liable. Well, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has answered that question.
Stopping victims from suing GM would also violate their right to due process. And so the court ruled that “New GM” can be held liable for the actions of “Old GM.” This ruling means the automaker could be on the hook for billions to personal injury lawsuits and lost vehicle value claims. Unfortunately, money damages do not truly compensate people who have been hurt or lose their loved ones due to GM’s poor decisions.