LOS ANGELES, California (Oct. 19, 2017) — General Motors was ordered to pay $120 million by a Los Angeles judge today after the automaker was found guilty of concealing safety issues for its defective ignition switches, according to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Several different GM vehicles were plagued with problems involving unintended key-rotation and/or ignition-switch related issues. Specifically, these defective ignition switches under certain conditions would slip out of the run position to the accessory or off position. A driver would lose power to their electrical system controlling their steering, airbags and brakes — potentially causing an injury if there were a crash.
The automaker was accused of concealing this potentially dangerous safety issue from consumers for many years. The company allegedly knew about the safety defects for more than a decade before they finally revealed what they knew. It wasn’t until 2014 that GM put out seven recalls to alert consumers about this safety issue.
“What GM did is inexcusable,” Becerra said in a press release. “We are holding GM accountable
today for this blatant violation of the law, which threatened the lives of millions of Americans. All companies should be put on notice: the California Department of Justice has zero tolerance for those who put profits over people.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Sotelo approved the settlement between GM and attorney generals representing 49 states as well as the District of Columbia. The state of California will receive about $7 million of the settlement.
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Motorists who are grappling with ongoing problems with their General Motors vehicle, or any other vehicle, could be eligible for compensation under California and or Federal Lemon Laws.
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