A U.S. judge today rejected a request to reconsider his approval of a settlement fund to resolve more than a thousand lawsuits over deaths and injuries blamed on an ignition-switch defect that prompted GM to recall 2.6 million vehicles.
Plaintiffs' lawyer Robert Hilliard has litigated some 1,300 cases against General Motors over its deadly ignition switches, but he suffered a stunning blow in the middle of a high-visibility trial last week in New York. It was a lucky "Perry Mason" moment for GM.
A settlement fund for the benefit of more than 1,000 GM customers who sued over faulty ignition switches should be re-examined by a judge because the lawyer who negotiated it had a conflict of interest, another plaintiff attorney involved in the cases alleged.
The lead attorneys in a sprawling group of lawsuits against General Motors over defective ignition switches failed and should be removed, a rival lawyer who helped reveal the deadly flaw urged in a blistering court filing.
GM got a boost in the first trial over a deadly ignition-switch defect as a judge slammed plaintiffs' lawyers for failing to vet their client, an Oklahoma mail carrier accused by the carmaker of lying to the court. Judge Jesse Furman said GM could show a jury evidence which he said would probably be “devastating” to the plaintiff.
A GM lawyer pushed back against an Oklahoma man's testimony that his quality of life plummeted because of crash injuries he blamed on his Saturn Ion's faulty ignition switch, in the first trial after a recall of millions of vehicles with the defective switch.
GM should pay for concealing an ignition-switch defect from its customers that has been linked to nearly 400 injuries and deaths, a lawyer for an Oklahoma man injured in a car crash told a Manhattan jury today.
General Motors next week faces the first of hundreds of court trials demanding that the automaker pay for the deaths of loved ones or injuries ranging from broken bones to paralysis. The raft of trials, scattered across the country, begins Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
General Motors and its law firm need not turn over privileged documents to drivers hoping to show that the automaker intended to commit a crime or fraud by concealing defective ignition switches in their vehicles, a federal judge ruled today.
A former prosecutor in Manhattan will serve as the independent federal monitor for GM following its agreement to pay $900 million to end a U.S. criminal probe over a lethal defect in ignition switches.
The known financial toll to GM for hiding a deadly safety defect now exceeds $2.3 billion. But outside of GM, there's little feeling of genuine accountability for the ignition-switch flaw now tied to 124 deaths and 275 injuries over more than a decade.
Federal prosecutors today announced a $900 million fine against General Motors and said they have ruled out criminal charges against some -- but not all -- of the 15 GM employees fired in connection with last year’s ignition-switch recall.
General Motors' potential liability over flawed ignition switches isn't over yet, and billions of dollars remain at stake. GM agreed today to pay $575 million to end a shareholder suit tied to the defect and more than 1,380 civil cases by victims. A separate $900 million accord with the U.S. government resolved a criminal probe into the matter.
General Motors admitted it hid from the government and the public a lethal defect in its vehicle ignition switches, and agreed to pay $900 million to end a U.S. criminal probe over its problem, which has been linked to 124 deaths.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg has completed its review of all 4,000-plus compensation claims related to General Motors' faulty ignition switches. The switches, which prompted the recall of more than 2.6 million vehicles last year, now have been linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, 17 of which were serious.
General Motors may face a renewed media campaign over what a key opponent called its “false narrative” about recalls of cars with defective ignition switches. GM lost a bid to stop lawyers from circulating information about the recalls, obtained ahead of a January trial.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg’s office has has nearly completed its review of 4,000-plus compensation claims related to General Motors’ recalled ignition switches. So far, the death toll is 124 deaths, three more than last week.
GM's compensation fund for faulty ignition switches covers only 2.59 million vehicles with that specific flaw. GM says a similar defect subsequently detected in an additional 10 million vehicles is ineligible for compensation because the company recalled the cars immediately after discovering the flaw.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will tighten its early-warning reporting requirements by next June as part of sweeping changes it has agreed to make following a blistering audit by the U.S. Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General.
Federal prosecutors are considering wire-fraud charges against General Motors stemming from its decade-long delay in recalling cars with a defective ignition switch linked to 111 deaths, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
Automakers and suppliers can expect tougher data requests and more frequent audits from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency said today as it outlined a plan to prevent safety lapses similar to General Motors' ignition switch crisis of 2014.
Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is scheduled to be deposed in September in a class-action suit filed by consumers against the automaker over defective ignition switches now linked to at least 109 deaths, Texas lawyer Bob Hilliard's office confirmed.
A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday put on hold dozens of lawsuits accusing General Motors of concealing an ignition-switch defect while the plaintiffs in those cases appeal an earlier ruling that found their cases were barred.
Former General Motors engineer Ray DeGiorgio will be deposed in June in the class-action filed by consumers against the automaker over the faulty ignition switches now linked to 107 deaths, Texas lawyer Bob Hilliard's office confirmed today.
The Justice Department has determined that GM's failure to recall millions of defective ignition switches for years involved criminal wrongdoing and could file criminal charges against some of the company's former employees, The New York Times reported late Friday.
Federal safety regulators have extended for at least a year a consent order that subjects General Motors to close scrutiny on safety matters, a condition placed on GM in the wake of last year's ignition switch recall.
The death toll from General Motors' defective ignition switch stands at 100, according to the outside attorney handling victims' claims for GM. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg had approved 100 death claims received by his office as of Friday, three more than a week earlier.
GM's ignition-switch compensation fund approved another seven death claims associated with ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 97 deaths, the office administrating GM’s compensation fund said.
General Motors will not have to face dozens of lawsuits accusing it of concealing an ignition-switch defect that has been blamed for more than 200 deaths and serious injuries, a federal bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday.
General Motors is rolling out new software this month for dealerships to make it harder for them to mistakenly sell a new vehicle that's subject to a recall, without first performing the recall work as required.
Automotive News today won the Grand Neal Award for its coverage of the GM ignition-switch recall crisis. The Grand Neal, given by the Association of Business Information and Media Companies, marks the pinnacle of achievement in business-to-business media. It was the first time a Crain Communications publication received the honor.
Former GM CEOs Rick Wagoner and Dan Akerson are among 96 current and ex-employees that lawyers involved in class-action lawsuits over faulty ignition switches have asked to question under oath from May through October. Neither appeared on a list of 35 scheduled depositions released Thursday by Texas lawyer Bob Hilliard.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra is among current and former executives set to be questioned in litigation over ignition-switch defects that led to the recall of millions of vehicles. Lawyers suing GM on behalf of vehicle owners will begin taking sworn depositions on May 6, attorney Bob Hilliard said.
Plaintiffs suing GM over faulty ignition switches have gained access to previously confidential documents produced by the automaker, and their attorneys plan to depose current and former top executives this year. Two of the plaintiffs' lawyers contend the documents contradict conclusions reached by GM's internal investigation last year.
The Georgia parents who forced GM to acknowledge an ignition switch defect linked to the deaths of their daughter and at least 64 other people have settled a second case against the company, their lawyers said today. The terms of the new settlement are confidential.
GM received another 33 claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 4,345, according to the administrator of the company's compensation program.
The final tally is in. In 2014, automakers sent out some 64 million recall notices in the United States, more than double the previous calendar-year record. GM was a big part of that, but plenty of others also contributed.
General Motors has named Craig Glidden, the top attorney at a global plastics and chemicals refiner, to succeed departing chief counsel Michael Millikin. Glidden, 57, oversaw legal, communications, government-affairs and compliance functions at LyondellBasell Industries, a Dutch company with US headquarters in Houston.
A federal judge said if General Motors is found to have violated car owners' constitutional rights by hiding ignition-switch defects during its bankruptcy, he would consider narrowing the legal protections afforded the company under its 2009 bankruptcy sale.
General Motors said it has extended the tenure of its top lawyer, Michael Millikin, whose department was criticized over how it handled the issue of the automaker's defective ignition switch linked to more than 50 deaths, and the search for a replacement is ongoing.
General Motors received another 57 claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 4,237, according to the administrator of the company's compensation program.
General Motors, which has come under media, congressional and courtroom scrutiny over fatalities caused by flawed ignition switches, is defending 104 death and injury lawsuits brought by those who blame accidents on defects in the company’s cars.
The number of eligible claims for deaths and injuries linked to the defective GM ignition switch that led to the recall of 2.6 million older cars should rise, an official responsible for administering the victim compensation fund said today.
General Motors today denied a request from two US senators to extend the Saturday deadline for victims of the company's defective ignition switch to apply for compensation. “Our goal is to be just and timely in compensating the families who lost loved ones and those who suffered physical injury," GM said in a statement.
General Motors managers misled investors and regulators for years about issues connected to vehicle ignition switch defects, shareholders said in a lawsuit accusing the company of inflating the stock's value.
A federal judge today refused to let plaintiffs' lawyers suing General Motors access notes from lawyers the company hired to prepare an internal report on the automaker's decade-long mishandling of a deadly ignition-switch flaw.
GM received 141 additional claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 2,710, according to the official administering the compensation program.
General Motors received 104 claims for compensation for ignition-switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 2,430, according to the official administering the compensation program.
GM customers won a key ally in their quest for $10 billion in compensation: the automaker's bankrupt predecessor, which said switch defects were illegally hidden from consumers during the company's 2009 bailout.
Claims for compensation from a faulty ignition switch in General Motors vehicles rose by 64 filings in the last week and GM has approved four more death claims attributed to the defective switch, according to an official report issued today.
Claims deemed eligible for compensation from a faulty ignition switch in General Motors vehicles rose slightly in the last week, including two additional deaths attributed to the defective switch, according to an official report today.
GM is replacing ignition keys on its newest trucks because of a design problem that can cause the shift lever to bump the key and shut off the engine. GM said its investigators determined that the issue was not a safety defect because it occurs only when the driver has a foot on the brake and is shifting gears.
A Texas judge today overturned a 7-year-old negligent homicide conviction against a woman whose boyfriend died when her Saturn Ion -- now known to have had a defective ignition switch -- crashed, her lawyer said.
GM said Grace Lieblein will replace Alicia Boler-Davis as head of global quality as the company caps a year of record recalls. Boler-Davis, who has been in charge of quality since July 2013, will retain responsibilities for customer experience and oversee OnStar as well.
Arizona filed a lawsuit against General Motors, claiming the carmaker put the public at risk by concealing safety defects to avoid the cost of recalls. Arizona was seeking an estimated $3 billion from GM, the New York Times reported.
If relative value means anything, GM may be the best buy in the auto industry. That, at least, is the consensus of bullish analysts, who are extolling the highest-quality vehicles in decades and operating margins to go with them, even as GM suffers a record recall of cars.
The New York bankruptcy judge overseeing part of the fallout from General Motors' problems with faulty ignition switches will retire from the bench, but remain active in so-called recall status for at least a year, his court announced.
The General Motors engineer often identified as responsible for a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to 32 deaths said "I did my job the best I could" in his first public comments since GM recalled 2.6 million cars to address the defect early this year.
Delphi Automotive agreed to give thousands of documents to lawyers suing General Motors over faulty ignition switches and to let the lawyers speak with the supplier's employees in exchange for being dropped as a defendant.
The lawyer handling General Motors' compensation for victims of accidents tied to its faulty ignition switches said he'll consider an auto safety advocate's suggestion that he comb regulators' files for relevant accidents.
The disclosure of December e-mails by General Motors shows that even after Mary Barra took over as CEO, the automaker failed to disclose key information about its ignition-switch recall -- raising more questions about what she knew and how quickly she’s been changing GM’s culture.
For 11 years, Jean Averill's family had no idea that her death was connected to a defective ignition switch. For the past five months, Averill's name sat in a footnote at the bottom of Page 103 in the Valukas report, which details the findings of General Motors' investigation into that defective ignition switch.
A program to compensate the victims of a faulty ignition switch in GM vehicles found last week that the part was linked to two additional deaths and four injuries, bringing the total number of eligible claims to 67, according to a report on Monday.
When it comes to public relations crises in the automobile industry, the Ford-Firestone tire controversy in the early 2000s was the biggest. Jason Vines should know. He was in charge of PR at Ford at the time. But Vines believes the General Motors ignition-switch recall could yet eclipse Ford-Firestone.
GM ordered a half-million new replacement ignition switches nearly two months before it told federal safety regulators about the safety issues which prompted a recall of millions of vehicles this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A federal judge in Manhattan has set Jan. 11, 2016, for the first trial in consolidated litigation against GM over a series of safety issues, including a faulty ignition switch, that have prompted millions of recalls this year.
Jesse Salazar III says an ignition switch flaw in his 2008 Chevrolet HHR has depressed its value, and he wants manufacturer GM to make it up to him. GM will argue in court filings later today that it shouldn't owe money to Salazar and hundreds of thousands of people like him.
A program to compensate victims of accidents caused by a faulty ignition switch in General Motors vehicles has received 1,772 claims for injuries and deaths, a 12 percent increase from the previous week, according to a report updated today.
The Treasury Department says confidential information it received during the GM bailout should stay secret, otherwise at-risk companies needing government help in the future might not be willing to share data.
A program to compensate victims of mishaps caused by a faulty ignition switch in General Motors' vehicles has approved one new death claim, bringing the total number of deaths linked to the switch so far to 30, according to a report released today.
The program to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch in GM vehicles has approved two new death claims, bringing the total number of deaths linked so far to the switch to 29, according to a report released on Monday by the lawyer overseeing the program.
An Automotive News analysis of documents filed with federal regulators shows that GM is moving faster to identify and fix problems but that many defects, especially in newer vehicles, are still reaching customers.
GM's top lawyer, Michael Millikin, 66, is retiring three months after he withstood withering criticism by lawmakers for his department's handling of GM's deadly ignition switch defect. The company said it will begin an immediate external search for his replacement.
A program to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch in General Motors vehicles has approved three new death claims, bringing the total number of deaths linked so far to the switch to 27, according to a report released today by the lawyer overseeing the program.
The number of claims of injury and death linked to a faulty ignition switch in GM cars rose 30 percent last week to 1,130, according to a report on Monday from the lawyer overseeing a program set up to compensate accident victims.
GM issued three more recalls Saturday covering more than 57,000 vehicles in the United States for potential problems ranging from a wiring problem in the steering column to inadvertent shutdown of the engine.
GM instructed dealers to halt deliveries of the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups because of a pending safety recall to fix an airbag defect, just two weeks after shipments began for the high-profile launch.
GM is recalling 117,651 2013-14 model-year trucks, crossovers and sedans across all four of its North America brands to fix a potentially faulty chassis-control system that could fail and increase the risk of a crash.
The number of deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch in General Motors cars rose by two last week to 23, according to a report today from the lawyer overseeing a program set up to compensate accident victims.
After months of blistering criticism, lampoons and scrutiny of General Motors, CEO Mary Barra is venturing back into the media spotlight after an initial rush of positive publicity early this year when she became the first female CEO of a major automaker.
The family of at least one victim killed in a General Motors vehicle with a faulty ignition switch will accept an offer from a program set up to provide compensation for crash injuries and deaths, a lawyer for the family said today.
The fund created to compensate for deaths or injuries linked to General Motors vehicles with faulty ignition switches this week made its first cash offers to about 15 people, the office of the lawyer overseeing the program said on Wednesday.
The number of deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch in General Motors vehicles rose by two last week to 21, according to a report today from a lawyer overseeing a program to compensate victims of accidents caused by the recalled part.
Seven months after General Motors' ignition-switch issue erupted into a full-blown safety crisis, NHTSA is taking its turn in the hot seat, facing tough questions about its past and its ability to effectively police auto safety.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra told an event here today about being the target of Congress -- and "Saturday Night Live" -- and about befriending billionaire Warren Buffett. But she gave little detail on GM's new Cadillac to be built in Detroit.
House Democrats introduced another bill Thursday to toughen federal auto safety laws after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration came under more criticism by U.S. lawmakers this week for its handling of the General Motors ignition switch recalls.
The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today insisted that his agency lacked enough information to force a recall of faulty General Motors ignition switches before this year, but under heavy criticism from members of a Senate subcommittee he admitted that regulators could have done better.
The top U.S. auto safety regulator harshly criticized GM for not promptly reporting and recalling cars now linked to at least 19 deaths and said he has been meeting with top global automakers to develop a "new normal" for safety recalls.
Federal auto safety regulators failed to detect GM's defective ignition switches despite having “ample information” about the problem as early as 2007, according to a House committee investigation into the GM recalls and NHTSA released today.
The independent lawyer overseeing GM's program to compensate victims of accidents that involved defective ignition switches has approved claims for 19 deaths, at least six more fatalities than GM has officially linked to the faulty part. The approved claims are now awaiting a decision on payment amounts.
General Motors has “substantially completed” its vehicle recalls, CEO Mary Barra said. “We're working hard to make sure that as new vehicles come out, they achieve even higher levels” of quality and safety, Barra told reporters in New Delhi today. “We're very focused to being industry leaders.”
General Motors, before recalling more than 200,000 Saturn Vues with ignition problems last month, discussed the issue with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three times beginning in mid-June, documents revealed today show.
GM has passed a significant milestone in its campaign to replace potentially defective ignition switches in millions of cars recalled worldwide: It cleared its backlog of parts orders. Now comes another tough task: Finding the roughly 1 million owners of cars covered by the recall who haven't contacted a dealership.
A federal judge has appointed two lawyers who led cases against Toyota, and a plaintiffs' attorney from Texas, to lead litigation against General Motors related to a faulty ignition switch that prompted the recall of millions of vehicles this year.
General Motors failed to convince a Georgia judge to dismiss a revived lawsuit over the death of a 29-year-old woman that helped trigger the automaker's ignition-switch recall crisis. Cobb County State Court Judge Kathryn Tanksley today set a trial date for April 2016.
General Motors issued five recalls covering about 269,000 U.S. vehicles, from 2013 Cadillac ATS sedans for a seat belt glitch to older-model Saturn Vue crossovers for a problem with the key coming out when the ignition is not turned off.
GM's website set up to give consumers quick information on recalled cars has been providing inaccurate information, the U.S. Transportation Department said. When consumers entered a vehicle identification number to determine whether their car or light truck was subject to recall, some were erroneously told no, NHTSA said.
More than seven years before GM began the biggest wave of auto recalls in history, an investigator for Vanguard Car Rental contacted the carmaker about a fatal rollover crash in California. Vanguard wasn't alone. Records show Enterprise Holdings pressed the automaker about a potential Cobalt defect because airbags failed in routine crashes.
General Motors was hit Tuesday with a lawsuit brought on behalf of more than 650 people allegedly injured or killed in accidents involving cars that have been recalled this year for faulty ignition switches.
General Motors treated isolated reports of flimsy ignitions in its mid-sized, full-sized and luxury cars more urgently than similar but far more voluminous complaints about the less profitable Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, documents GM submitted to federal regulators show.
Former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said the automaker's delayed ignition switch recall was indicative of a flawed corporate culture that was worse than he and other executives had originally recognized.
When Lucy Clark Dougherty was named General Motors' top lawyer for North America in 2011, she was considered the likely candidate to succeed General Counsel Michael Millikin. Now the two are sharing an uncomfortable spotlight amid criticism of the legal department's handling of a faulty ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths.
General Motors is recalling another 717,950 vehicles in the United States, mostly 2010-12 model year cars and crossovers, lifting its total for the year to a record 60 safety campaigns covering around 29 million vehicles globally.
The changing perception among some of GM CEO Mary Barra's toughest critics suggests that she is maneuvering GM out of the worst of the recall crisis. But the praise came with a scorching indictment of her decision not to fire chief counsel Michael Millikin.
New documents reveal GM redesigned faulty ignition switches without changing the part number in more than the 2.59 million small cars at the center of its recall crisis. Some of those additional vehicles underwent an ignition switch redesign as far back as 2004, GM said in a letter to regulators posted today by NHTSA.
GM last month recalled millions of vehicles with three different designs of ignition switches that could accidentally turn off the engine and disable air bags in a crash. But the automaker has concluded that more than 2 million other vehicles equipped with the same switches are safe.
GM has hired an outside legal firm to review the company's litigation practices and has revised the way it handles civil lawsuits so that cases involving serious injuries or deaths will be reviewed by the company's general counsel and engineering staffs, GM's top lawyer plans to tell a Senate panel on Thursday.
Federal prosecutors are developing a criminal fraud case hinged on whether GM made misleading statements about a deadly ignition switch flaw, and are examining activity dating back a decade, before GM's 2009 bankruptcy, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation, Reuters reported.
General Motors will not be looking for liability insurance funds to help pay for claims stemming from its ignition-switch safety crisis. "It will be done through cash on hand, no insurance," said David Roman, GM's director of financial communications.