GM Product Liability Lawsuits for Future Vehicle Defects Will Survive

General Motors has agreed to maintain responsibility for future product liability lawsuits over defects with their cars manufactured prior to the bankruptcy and reorganization, providing consumers with a level of protection that was not afforded with the Chrysler bankruptcy and sale to Fiat.

According to a court filing released on Friday, GM will assume liability for future lawsuits involving vehicle defects. However, under their proposal, plaintiffs with pending lawsuits and individuals who are injured in an accident that occur while the company is under bankruptcy protection will still be classified as unsecured creditors against the old GM.

There are more than $1 billion in pending product liability lawsuits against GM, according to some experts. These plaintiffs will be relegated to the back of the line when it comes to divvying up the old company’s assets and it is unlikely they will be able to collect much, if anything, for their damages.

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Before Friday’s filing, GM was pushing to shed all product liability, meaning that plaintiffs would have been unable to go after the “new” GM for problems with “old” GM cars.

GM had asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber for immunity similar to what Chrysler received, but they faced strong opposition from state attorneys general, consumer advocacy groups and a committee of unsecured creditors.

The concession was made ahead of an expected request on Tuesday that Judge Gerber accept and approve GM’s bankruptcy plan.

5 Comments

  • JanSeptember 4, 2015 at 1:21 am

    In a way Susan and Brandy you are lucky. I think your insurance will cover the damage. I own a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. It is parked in the driveway. It has two air bag recalls and no parts to fix it. My husband and I both take blood thinners and are terrified to drive it. I can not sell it, drive it, or get the insurance to pay for it. You got to love GM!

  • BrandyNovember 18, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Susan, I had the same the happen to me the other day. I went to pick my kids up from school and when I came out my car was on fire. Does GM take care of the matter or am I waisting my time if I try to get them to?

  • SusanDecember 27, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    oI owned a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix that I purchased in July of this year, then on November 29, 2010 as I was traveling out of town, a car pulled out in front of me, I braked and was able to miss having a collision, but soon after I could smell this strong odor and as I pulled over to the side of the road, smoke was coming out of the hood and as I got out of the car, I could see flames coming from [Show More]oI owned a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix that I purchased in July of this year, then on November 29, 2010 as I was traveling out of town, a car pulled out in front of me, I braked and was able to miss having a collision, but soon after I could smell this strong odor and as I pulled over to the side of the road, smoke was coming out of the hood and as I got out of the car, I could see flames coming from the front of the vehicle and as I called 911 the car was fully engulfed. I had just minutes to get out of the car. I was not aware there was a recall on these cars until after this happened.

  • L StephensOctober 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    My Hummer ran head on into a tree major damage not only to the car but my head hit the stirring wheel at moment of impact, and no airbag went off!

  • CourtneeAugust 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Why isn't GM doing anything about the defective Alero? The models 2000-2003 have a defect which cause the cars not to start. If so many people are having the same problem, doesn't that mean that GM manufactured and sold a defective vehicle? Does someone have to die because of this before GM is held responsible? Just because this is not a safety issue, should GM be let off the hook? As an owner of [Show More]Why isn't GM doing anything about the defective Alero? The models 2000-2003 have a defect which cause the cars not to start. If so many people are having the same problem, doesn't that mean that GM manufactured and sold a defective vehicle? Does someone have to die because of this before GM is held responsible? Just because this is not a safety issue, should GM be let off the hook? As an owner of a 2002 Alero that does NOT work, I am outraged and want to know what I can do about this.

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