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GM to Pay Record $35 Million for Failure to Report Safety Defects in Timely Manner

Auto design defects can lead to a variety of devastating injuries, and thousands of people are injured each year as a result of negligence on the part of a manufacturer. Federal laws require all automotive manufacturers to alert the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a safety-related design fault or lack of compliance within 5 business days of its discovery, in order to expedite the recall process and minimize harm to the consumer. When companies in charge of automotive production fail to take proper action, it not only places their own customers in danger, but everyone else on the road as well. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Today, the NHTSA announced that General Motors would pay a $35 million civil penalty for their failure to report safety defects related to faulty ignition switches in millions of vehicles to the federal government in a timely manner. This record action is the single highest civil penalty to ever stem from an NHTSA recall investigation. Additionally, GM will be subject to unprecedented oversight requirements, and a Consent Order signed with the agency also ordered GM to enact a significant number of changes with regard to their internal review process for safety-related issues. All provisions of the Consent Order will be immediately enforceable in federal court if GM does not fully comply. The NHTSA hopes that the GM settlement will send a message to all manufacturers that they will be held accountable for any failure to quickly report and address safety-related defects. (USA Today)

Our lawyers have represented plaintiffs in Chicago product liability lawsuits for more than twenty years, and in that time we have taken on many corporations and manufacturers for their negligence in marketing unsafe products to consumers. In that time, our legal team has taken particular pride in in the changes that our efforts have made. Not only have we recovered substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients, but we have also ensured that defective products were removed from the market, preventing them from causing any future pain and suffering.

In one such case, our attorneys filed a product liability lawsuit against a car manufacturer that had improperly designed the fuel delivery system in one of their vehicles. The suit sought to prove that this design fault resulted in a fuel fed fire that killed the occupants of the vehicle after it was involved in a collision. Our lawyers recovered a $3 million settlement for our clients, allowing them to pay for insurance costs and final expenses, and holding the company accountable for their negligence. If you or someone you know has been injured because of another party’s negligence or reckless actions, you may be entitled to compensation as well. If you think you may have a case, call our lawyers for a free consultation to explore your legal options.