Consumers in Arizona were awarded almost $6.29 million in a General Motors (GM) lawsuit involving defective ignition switches. This is one of many claims that GM will be ordered to pay to both states and consumers. The settlement stems from lawsuits involving ignition switch defects which caused vehicles to stall. Hundreds of deaths and injuries resulted from this defect. In all, the automaker is on the hook for over $2.5 billion in fines and penalties after recalling more than 2.7 million cars in 2014.
Unlike other states, Arizona has decided to transfer payments directly to affected consumers. According to Arizona’s Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, consumers deserve to be compensated directly in consumer fraud lawsuits. As such, Brnovich modified the lawsuit to state a claim for payments to consumers. The lawsuit filed by Arizona against GM alleged that GM engaged in false advertising, hid defects related to their cars, and encouraged a culture that did not prioritize safety.
According to the terms of the settlement with Arizona consumers, 33,000 individuals who bought affected GM vehicles between July, 2009 and July, 2014 are eligible for payments from the settlement so long as they did not resell their cars prior to the recall announcement. Each individual is scheduled to receive a minimum of $200 and must sign a release.
If Arizona had followed other states and accepted payment into the state’s general fund, it would have received approximately $2 million. Michigan, for example, opted to direct payment to its state’s general fund and received $4.3 million. GM reached a settlement with 49 states and the District of Columbia totaling $120 million.
GM is charged with failing to reveal a defect in its cars that caused the ignition switch to turn to the “off” position. As a result, the car’s engine turned off and its airbags failed to deploy. The problem lies in the ignition switch being less elastic than it should be, which decreases tension in the ignition switch. The defect resulted in 124 deaths and 275 injuries in GM’s smaller cars, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Saturn Ion.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.