Tennessee AG Announces $120M Settlement With General Motors

GM’s Chevrolet HHR Flex Fuel version

The settlement with attorneys general in 49 states and the District of Columbia is the latest fallout for GM from the faulty switches, which resulted in the recall of millions of cars in 2014. Arizona was the only state that elected not to participate in the suit. Despite knowing this, employees decided it was not a safety concern, delayed making recalls, and continued to market the safety and reliability of the vehicles. The settlement does not include what GM has paid out to individuals. That amount includes almost $600 million placed in a victims' compensation fund overseen by Ken Feinberg.

State attorneys general alleged GM failed to disclose the safety defect in a timely manner and misled consumers when marketing vehicles.

GM has acknowledged failing to recall about 2.6 million older vehicles with defective switches until early 2014 despite having internal evidence of a safety problem for at least a decade.

Under the settlement, GM will declare a motor vehicle safe only if it has complied with federal motor vehicle safety standards.

The settlement also requires GM to fix vehicles before its dealers resell them as certified preowned.

The GM investigation and negotiation was led by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas. "When they fail to do so, as was the case with GM, we are committed to holding them accountable". If a crash occurs while the ignition switch is in the "accessory" or "off" position, the vehicle's safety airbags may fail to deploy, increasing the risk of serious injury or death in certain types of crashes in which the airbag was otherwise created to deploy.

"Instead of prioritizing customers, General Motors turned a blind eye for years and chose to hide the safety defects associated with several models of their vehicles", Attorney General Schneiderman said. The Detroit News said GM will pay out a total of $120 million. "New Yorkers should not have to worry about their steering or brakes failing or their air bags not deploying when they get behind the wheel".

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