GM has released the report of an internal investigation on its handling of the faulty ignition switches that caused its most recent recall. The details of the information point to a pattern of “incompetence and neglect” as employees were found to have known about the problems for years. The report brings to light dozens of employees’ failures to act despite knowledge of the ignition switch defects that led to an unknown number of injuries and deaths.
After the report was published, 15 employees were dismissed and 5 other GM employees were disciplined. The actions were taken at many different levels, including mid-level engineers, the vice president for regulatory affairs, and a senior lawyer. To date, no evidence has been released to incriminate GM chief executive officer Mary Barra and other top officials in a deliberate cover-up of the faulty ignition switches.
Since February, 2.6 million cars have been recalled because of the GM ignition defect, which has been directly linked to 13 deaths and 54 accidents per GM’s report. The company’s CEO is saying that the death toll and number of injuries could grow in the upcoming weeks. GM’s compensation expert said that a compensation program should be completed in a few weeks and victims and their families who participate would receive the money in August. GM has set aside $1.7 billion to compensate those affected.
Proving negligence is a large part in many of the GM lawsuits as they claim that GM had an obligation to disclose the information about the defect. GM is still being investigated by the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a group of state attorneys general. There will be another round of congressional hearings for top executives of the company as the report is examined further.
If you have suffered a serious injury in an accident caused by an auto defect such as a seatbelt failure, a sudden loss of steering control, or failure of airbags to deploy, you may be entitled to receive significant compensation for your injuries. GM will likely face future lawsuits filed by injured motorists and the product liability attorneys at Lopez McHugh, LLP are prepared to assist in such lawsuits. Do not hesitate to contact our office for help and to schedule a free consultation.