A General Motors mediator has started negotiations with vehicle owners concerning the ignition switches that were found to be the cause of several hundred accidents and deaths. The GM spokesperson began talks over the defective products with a Texas attorney who is currently representing 273 injured individuals and the families of 53 people who were killed when the ignition switch, that GM knew was defective before going to market, malfunctioned and caused an accident.
These talks come after GM's cover-up came to light. A cover-up wherein at least 2.6 million compacts cars, many of which were the popular Chevy Cobalt, were recalled so that the faulty ignition components could be fixed. Ignition switches were falling out of place, shutting the vehicle off, and causing power steering, power braking, and air bags to fail. The problems were known about more than ten years ago, but the giant car conglomerate chose not to do anything about it until this past February. Of course, GM is dismissing many of the claims and argues that only a fraction of the accidents that consumers say were caused by the defect actually concern the company.
During a recent hearing concerning the scandal, GM's corporate executive officer would not go as far as to say that the car company would compensate victims and their families for its gross negligence, but that she recognized the "legal obligations" surrounding the blunder.
Now that negotiations have begun, the floodgates for other potential victims will likely open and, whereas class actions will render and even payout for all involved, those who have suffered more serious consequences are advised to seek private personal injuries attorneys, such as the defective products lawyers at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., to represent them.
Experts agree that, knowing General Motors, the car company will likely try to drag its feet through the mud while the media spotlight dies down and victims and their families are forgotten about by a once more sympathetic population. One even went as far as to say, "Wait for the next big disaster, then GM will start settling under the radar."
General Motors, which is currently a $27 billion company, has not said how much they are willing to dole out to possible victims and their families, but most experts agree that it won't be enough to exceed the profit they made from selling known defective vehicles that indefinitely injured people and took lives.
Source: WFMJ, "GM begins talks to settle ignition switch lawsuits" 3 May 2014