By on November 21, 2014

Recalled GM ignition switch

Going its own way, Arizona has filed a $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors over the February 2014 ignition switch recall.

The New York Times reports Arizona attorney general Thomas C. Horne threw down the lawsuit Wednesday, alleging the automaker defrauded the state’s consumers through advertising, public statements and its website. In so doing, Horne and Arizona are going it alone, breaking off from a group of 48 states pursuing a multi-state investigation into the recall; Arizona was on the executive committee of said investigation:

We’re proceeding with our own suit because it’s the best way to protect the citizens of Arizona. General Motors represented that it was taking care of the safety of its cars, and in fact there were serious defects that it did not disclose to the public for years.

The suit also asserts some of GM’s senior execs — including CEO Mary Barra — knew of the defects at the same time as those below their status. Arizona is fining the automaker $10,000 per vehicle found in violation of state statutes, totalling $3 billion for 300,000 units.

For its part, GM vows to fight the suit, proclaiming it “misrepresents the facts” behind the performance of its vehicles, as well as its commitment to the safety of its customer base.

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26 Comments on “Arizona AG Files $3B Lawsuit Against GM Over Ignition Recall...”

  • avatar

    Of that $10,000 per car that Arizona is seeking how much will actually get into the hands of affected consumers?… about a buck 98

    • 0 avatar

      I think Arizona’s lawsuit is great! Kinda like punitive damages for GM to reimburse Arizona taxpayers who were forced to bail out this dead and defunct automaker at their expense.

      I hope AZ gets at least part of the $10B loss back. But with the US government on GM’s s1de, it will be hard for AZ to win this suit.

      Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

      • 0 avatar

        Really? It’s great? For whom, precisely – the thousands upon thousands of folks who work for GM or sell / service GM products in Arizona, who had absolutely nothing to do with the ignition issue in the first place, but will lose money because of this?

        The only people it will do good for is GM haters, which I’m sure are legion in a right wing state like Arizona…they’ll nod their heads in agreement, not thinking about the harm it’ll cause to job creators in their state.


        • 0 avatar

          Not just Arizona. Blue State New Mexico was dead set against bailing out GM and Chrysler. So was Blue State Colorado. And Blue State Nevada.

          It goes without saying that Red State Texas also was against the bailouts, handouts and nationalization.

          Life will go on in Arizona for everyone who works for GM there.

          GM will quietly settle with Arizona for a sum of money they got from the US taxpayers in the first place and Arizona will get back a drop in the bucket of money they lost on the bailouts, handouts and nationalization.

          All’s well that ends well.

  • avatar

    Yup I’m 12 years old and I love my dad’s and my mom’s and my sister’s Chevys and Buicks and when I grow up I want to help make them and so I’m gonna be a lawyer!

  • avatar

    Well, it beats the elephant in charge of the peanuts investigation that found GM was in like a cent, out like a buck.

  • avatar

    You gotta love the rightwingnuts. First, it’s “let’s do tort reform so job creating businesses don’t get the pants sued off them,” then it’s “let’s use a state to sue the pants off them.”

    GM did $3 billion worth of harm to people in Arizona? Good luck proving that.

    But I’m sure the rightwingnuts in the state will start nodding their heads, which is the point of the whole stupid exercise.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, the left wing portion of AZ (Pima County), isn’t exactly a job creation machine or well run either.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s really not a question of how well counties in Arizona are run, or who runs them – the question is why a conservative Republican politician, who represents a party that has run for DECADES on things like letting American businesses police themselves, and reform for frivolous lawsuits, decides to punish an American company that’s already been punished, and will continue to be punished for years to come?

        How does this help the thousands of Arizonans who work for GM or their dealers, who had nothing to do with the ignition issue? Why do they deserve to suffer?

        What about the millions of people who own GM stock – do they deserve to be punished too?

        • 0 avatar

          Because he’s a lawyer. Stop making it so complicated.

          Politics makes for strange bedfellows. In Michigan, we had our republican AG fighting for union pensions in the Detroit bankruptcy case. It placed him at odds with the Emergency Manager and republican Governor.

        • 0 avatar

          While the hypocrisy of “tort reform” Republicans using the civil courts to sue for gazillions is clear, this probably has more in common with the tobacco lawsuits than with anything partisan.

          GM is a deep pocket that can produce revenue for the state without a tax increase. They won’t get $3 billion, but they’ll get something.

          • 0 avatar

            States pissed away that tobacco money too. It was just like those people that win the lottery and mess their lives up.

        • 0 avatar
          John Marks


          I quote Auric Goldfinger:

          “Nooo, Mr. Bond, I expect you to DIE!”


          • 0 avatar

            Using the ultimate indignity (to a “hunk” such as James Bond) of a laser that would bisect him – junk-first. :-)

    • 0 avatar

      “Tort reform” applies only to people who they don’t like.

      • 0 avatar


        Most people scream, “there needs to be tort reform and an end to frivolous and excessive lawsuits. Binding arbitration and limits for all!”

        They scream that right up until they have to sue someone or some company – then all of a sudden it becomes, “sniff, sniff, I never thought it could happen to me. I’m a victim! Where is my money check! I can’t believe the limits and arbitration process did this to us!”

        • 0 avatar

          What “tort reform” does is to prevent those who can’t afford to pay their lawyers from getting a lawyer. It is intended to keep the little guy out of the court system so that only corporations and the wealthy have access to it. So much for the “small government” party…

    • 0 avatar

      So is the current Obama NHSTA and Justice Department also a “rightwingnut” for suing GM over this matter?

      Why is it wrong if a state sues but it’s completely fine if Obama’s Federal government does it?

      Maybe the Obama administration is just a little too cozy to Government Motors and AZ thinks the only way to get any sort of justice is to sue the company themselves?

      BTW, tort reform is almost exclusively in the realm of policies like “loser pays” it’s not “you can’t ever sue a company”

  • avatar

    “What about the millions of people who own GM stock – do they deserve to be punished too?”

    Well sadly, that’s part of being a shareholder, isn’t it? If this was a sole proprietorship, we would have no problems filing a big lawsuit of the person in charge acted this way. Just because it is a publicly traded company doesn’t mean it should be held accountable as well.

    Also, Arizona is stating it’s a fine, not compensation.

  • avatar

    Ridiculous! Talk about a FRIVOULOUS lawsuit.

    Instead of suing GM for POTENTIAL loss of value, the state of Arizona should look in the mirror and get rid of traffic camera, which cause REAL economic harm to residents are nothing but a gimmick to generate revenue.

    If GM has balls, they should reclocate their desert proving grounds OUT of A-hole-zona.

  • avatar

    Political posturing, nothing more.

    GM will settle out of court for a non-disclosed amount while admitting no wrong doing. The non-disclosed amount will be a fraction of the $3 billion in the suit, and most of that money will go to fund the AG office for other efforts.

    Any aggrieved parties will get next to nothing, and anyone who has filed a claim through the GM compensation program shouldn’t be able to ‘double dip’ in this action.

    You know it, I know it, and they know it.

    This is nothing but political posturing.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree about the political posturing. And hopefully, GM will settle and pay the State of Arizona a great deal of money.

      At least the taxpayers of Arizona will get back a pittance of the bailout money they were forced to pay against their wishes to bring GM back from the dead.

      • 0 avatar

        highdesertcat: “the taxpayers of Arizona will get back a pittance of the bailout money they were forced to pay”

        If the primary reason people want GM to lose a safety lawsuit is that they’re upset about a financial bailout, then we’re in pretty sad shape.

        Two wrongs do not make a right.

        • 0 avatar

          brn, these are troubling times in the kingdom.

          As a political Independent I have no allegiance to either the Democrats or the Republicans since I find ways around both their agendas daily to achieve my own goals.

          About the two wrongs not making a right, well, in the real world we have seen how people scheme and plot in order to get what they want. It really is all about “Do Unto Others BEFORE They Do Unto You!” Jonathan Gruber, anyone?

          The AZ lawsuit against GM is no different. How about Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawsuit re immigration, eh?

          Sure to get the attention of the illegal aliens in AZ and drive them into California and other Blue States.

          People in Red State AZ think differently than the sissyfied metrosexuals of the Liberal Democrat Greenweenie East and West Coasts.

          My guess would be that AZ will get some money from GM and this suit will never get to trial. Just like suing Big Tobacco, this, too, was a smooth move and easy pickins’. More states to follow. You Betcha!

          GM’s decades-long track record of cranking out unsafe and ill-developed vehicles will stand on its own merits and support a quiet settlement.

  • avatar

    October 31st 2008 appearing on Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) expressed support for the auto industry bailouts:

    Q: We’re finding out that there may be a possibility of some sort of bail-out or government assistance for the auto industry. Would that be something that you would support?

    MCCAIN: Well, we’ve already done that to $25 billion, and we’ve delayed getting them the money. I would do whatever I think needs to be done to help our automotive industry. We’ve got to make this transition to flex fuel, battery powered, hydrogen automobiles. And, obviously — and, also, I would provide tax credits for people who buy these new automobiles. We’ve got to keep this industry alive. There’s no doubt about that.

    Maybe in between trying to look who to bomb next, the senior senator from Arizona could reimburse the tax payers of Arizona.

    Or maybe not re-elect him? Too late you say?

    • 0 avatar

      ExPatBrit, John McCain will stay in the job for life and die in office.

      The man is a legend in his own time in AZ. If no one else, the beer drinkers of AZ will all vote for him, and those are a clear majority in hot, dry, dusty AZ.

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