GM pays millions in auto defect class action settlement

The purchase of a new car can be exciting, especially if one has settled for used cars for many years. It can be frustrating to purchase a new car only to find it has auto defects that make it undrivable or even dangerous. Recent events have left many owners of GM cars scrambling to comply with recall notices. Unfortunately, some did not receive their notices before disaster struck.

A defective ignition switch resulted in seven separate recalls as the car manufacturer responded to complaints from across the country, including California. However, while the recalls were issued in 2014, recent investigations discovered that GM apparently knew about the defects almost 10 years earlier. The ignition switches had the tendency to turn themselves to the "off" position unexpectedly, shutting down the vehicle's electrical system, which controls steering, brakes and, in some cases, airbag deployment.

Because GM failed to alert the public of the defective switches, a judge recently approved a settlement between the auto maker and attorneys general representing the states affected by the defect. The settlement of $120 million will be divided among the states. California's portion will be over $7 million. Across the country, 124 people died as a result of the defective switches, and nearly 300 people suffered injuries.

This settlement is only a small portion of the legal issues GM faces because of the auto defect it allegedly tried to hide. Car owners who experience dangerous problems with their vehicles have the right to seek advice and guidance, especially those who suffer injuries as a result. By speaking with an experienced attorney, one can learn of the best options for pursuing justice.

Source:, "Hiding deadly ignition switch dangers costs GM $120 million: 124 deaths", Christina Kelley, Oct. 19, 2017