General Motors (GM) has put billions of vehicles on roads worldwide over the years, but the company recently admitted to withholding information that could have prevented hundreds of car accidents.
Reports began to surface several years ago of ignition switches in GM vehicles turning to the off position while vehicles were in motion. This left the driver unable to gain control of the vehicle and in many cases, led to crashes. In several instances, the vehicles’ airbags also failed to deploy because the ignition switch was in the “off” position during a crash.
These accidents prompted an investigation that eventually led to the GM ignition recall, and the company is facing both criminal and civil charges in the matter.
It was recently announced that GM had reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to receive deferred prosecution of the criminal charges as long as several stipulations were met.
According to USA Today, GM agreed to admit they failed to inform federal agencies of information about the potential safety defect and also that the company misled consumers regarding the risks faulty ignition switches could pose. GM will pay $900 million in penalties, as well as be required to overhaul their recall process.
At Ponce Law, one of our missions is to hold corporations accountable for their actions when innocent people get hurt. Our defective product lawyers are hopeful that the outcome of this case serves as a warning to others in the industry to make vehicle safety a priority.