Buried deep within the recently passed highway transportation funding act is a provision to incentivize whistleblowers to speak out against automakers who design serious safety flaws in the cars that they make.
The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act, passed in Congress earlier this year and signed into law by President Barack Obama this month as part of a larger highway transportation funding bill, is the first federal attempt at preventing catastrophic defects such as the ignition switch installed into General Motors cars that killed 124 people. This year, General Motors settled with victims and families for more than $600 million and paid federal regulators more than $900 million in fines.
The bill’s language specifically targets defects such as GM’s ignition switches, but could leave helpless whistleblowers in cases like Volkswagen’s or examples such as Ralph Nader’s outcry as part of his groundbreaking book “Unsafe At Any Speed.”
General Motors announced Tuesday that it’ll settle with at least 124 families who claimed that faulty ignition switches killed family members, Car and Driver is reporting. The settlement comes after a long review to identify victims and people injured by the defective car part that could shut off and disable airbags in the process.
The switches were part of a 2014 recall that involved 2.6 million cars, including the Chevrolet HHR and Cobalt, Saturn Sky and Ion, and Pontiac Solstice and G5. The reported number of dead people was revised as part of a year-long investigation after GM initially acknowledged only 13 fatalities.
The settlement may cost GM up to $625 million, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In all, 124 fatalities and 274 injuries have filed claims against the automaker. In addition to federal lawsuits, the automaker faces investigations by 50 state attorneys general.
General Motors disclosed in its quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the automaker for selling used cars under recall, the Detroit News is reporting.
According to the automaker, the FTC notified GM that it was investigating “certified pre-owned vehicle advertising where dealers had certified vehicles allegedly needing recall repairs.”
The filing acknowledges the investigation is connected with the 2014 recall of 2.59 million cars with faulty ignition switches that could turn the car off while driving, disabling its airbags. So far, 124 deaths have been linked to the defect.
In today’s General Motors Digest: Replacement ignition switches are shipping to dealership service bays in boxes that may not reflect the contents inside; GM hands over 2 million documents to the United States House of Representatives; and certain truck owners are on their own as far as rusty brake lines are concerned.
In today’s General Motors digest: An ignition-related issue is quietly fixed years before the February 2014 recall; a Chinese supplier is blamed for defective switches recalled in June; Ally prepares to take flight from the Beltway; and Mark Reuss helps bring back a Corvette stolen 33 years ago.
The years-long silence over a faulty ignition switch responsible for 13 deaths and a recall of 1.6 million vehicles made between 2003 and 2007 is about to take a greater toll on General Motors executives as federal investigations, lawsuits and penalties loom over the horizon.
Originally affecting 780,000 2005 – 2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s, General Motors has now added another 588,000 vehicle in a recall to fix ignition switches that can lead to the engine being shut off. So far, 31 crashes and 13 front-seat deaths have been linked to the issue.
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- Tassos I tried to post a link (2 mins of Trump's speech to a Detroit Supplier) but it did not show (yet).He lamented the demise of the Big 3 due to the EV mandates, and told them Idiot Joe Biden will make them bankrupt and they will all lose their jobs.The most important thing he did not mention was that none of the onetime big 3 can make a BEV at a profit, after more than a full decade of trying.What's more, The only automaker in the Free World that has been able to make a BEV at a profit and has massive sales, dwarfing all the rest BEV models put TOGETHER, is the very Domestic (But not unionized, and with good reason!) T E S L A.
- Tassos I have been a very happy Honda owner for many many decades, this clueless clown does not know what he or she is talking about, IF he refers to me in his hatchet piece.I am a big admirer of the Honda Accord, of which I owned a coupe 5 speed from 1994 to 2016, it was way underpowered by today's standards but it had excellent quality inside and out.and also the CIvic hatch, which I bought new in 1991 and owned until it was totaled (100% the other guy's fault) in 2016, which was the perfect city car, (as its latin name suggests, illiterates) very lightweight and quick on its feed despite its modest HP.I also was always impressed by the Accord Hybrid, which has the same stellar MPG as the Camry Hybrid, but with far more satisfying driving dynamics and styling.So again, Christine, what the hell are you talking about?????
- TheEndlessEnigma Here comes the Tassos rant...
- Jeff Good to read a review on a car that many readers can afford and agree on as a solid choice.
- Ajla The V6 Accord was so popular with internet car website commenters that it turned into a meme. I don't think this current gen carries on that tradition though, many reviews make it sound like a regression. I think the Ford Maverick is the new internet sweetheart.Or the Kia Telluride, which is objectively the greatest ICE vehicle of all time.