This year, General Motors has faced intense scrutiny over automobile recalls and delays in addressing lethal safety concerns. Among the primary concerns is the automaker's failure to address a problem with the ignitions switch--a flaw that has caused numerous deaths. GM acknowledges 13 deaths associated with the faulty ignition switch, but it is only counting in that number those who were killed in head-on collisions tied to the ignition switch and a failure of the airbags to deploy. Grieving family members say the number of deaths is much higher.
In June, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the firing of 15 employees and said that an internal investigation did not turn up any more serious safety flaws. Her comments seemed to imply that the worst was over for GM, but earlier this week, the company announced the recall of an additional 8 million vehicles. The latest recall brings the total number of vehicles recalled by General Motors in the first six months of 2014 to more than 30 million.
The latest recall includes more models affected by the faulty ignition switch as well as models affected by other problems. According to CNN Money, the following models are included in the 8.4 million-vehicle recall announced Monday:
- 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
- 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrique
- 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
- 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
- 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo
- 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
- 2003-2013 and a limited number of 2014 Cadillac CTS
- 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
Engine Block Power Heater Cord
- 2011-2014 Chevrolet Cruze
- 2012-2014 Chevrolet Sonic
- 2013-2014 Chevrolet Trax
- 2013-2014 Buick Encore
- 2013-2014 Buick Verano
- 2014 Chevrolet Camaro
- 2014 Chevrolet Impala
- 2014 Buick Regal
- 2014 Cadillac XTS
Auxiliary Battery Fire Hazard
- 2007-2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD
- 2007-2011 GMC Sierra HD
Electrical Short Disabling Power Door Lock and Window Switches
- 2005-2007 Buick Rainier
- 2005-2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer
- 2005-2007 GMC Envoy
- 2005-2007 Isuzu Ascender
- 2005-2007 Saab 9-7x
- 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT
- 2006 GMC Envoy XL
Of the approximately 30 million units recalled by GM this year, only three key models have escaped unscathed thus far: the Chevy Equinox crossover, the GMC Terrain crossover, and the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid. CNN provides a complete list of 2014 GM recalls through June 29 here.
General Motors announced that it will be offering up to $1 million to family members of victims of fatal accidents involving the faulty ignition switch and airbag failures. However, many victims say that the $1 million settlement is not enough to convince them to waive their right to sue the automaker for the defect and the delay in rectifying a known danger. Instead, these families plan to fight their battle in court, filing lawsuits against the automaker rather than accepting the sum offered by GM. Others say they will have their lawyers closely scrutinize the settlement offer before making a decision.
While some families may be apt to accept the settlement just to put the past behind them, they could be doing themselves and their futures a tremendous disservice. Seeking legal counsel before accepting a settlement is always a wise decision.
Image Credit: Edwin S
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