GM Will Settle with 124 Families Over Ignition Switch Deaths

General Motors announced Tuesday that it’ll settle with at least 124 families who claimed that faulty ignition switches killed family members, Car and Driver is reporting. The settlement comes after a long review to identify victims and people injured by the defective car part that could shut off and disable airbags in the process.
The switches were part of a 2014 recall that involved 2.6 million cars, including the Chevrolet HHR and Cobalt, Saturn Sky and Ion, and Pontiac Solstice and G5. The reported number of dead people was revised as part of a year-long investigation after GM initially acknowledged only 13 fatalities.
The settlement may cost GM up to $625 million, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In all, 124 fatalities and 274 injuries have filed claims against the automaker. In addition to federal lawsuits, the automaker faces investigations by 50 state attorneys general.
The settlement may very well be the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end for a sad chapter in the automaker’s history where it initially covered up, failed to contact families, then failed to acknowledge the scope of the tragic problem.
As a result of the botched recall, the federal government has taken a tougher stance on the automakers and how it handles recalls, which could dramatically change the oversight bureau that handles automotive safety.
Nonetheless, the historical significance of the tragically bad recall will be noted as such: 124 deaths have been attributed to the faulty switch that would have cost $1 to fix in each car.
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