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GM Settlements to be Paid for Accidents Where Airbags Did Not Deploy

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Individuals who have suffered a personal injury or died in auto accidents that may have been caused by defective ignition switches in recalled Chevy, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles may qualify for payments from a General Motors (GM) compensation fund that is currently being negotiated.

The General Motors settlement fund is being administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM CEO Mary Barra to resolve injury and death cases that may have been caused by ignition switch problems that have affected millions of vehicles.

During a press conference this morning, Feinberg announced that GM settlements will start at $1 million for families of individuals who died in an accident linked to defective ignition switches. In addition, the company will pay estimated lifetime earnings and $300,000 to a spouse and each dependent. Those who suffered life-altering injuries may receive many times more, including compensation for a life time of medical care, Feinberg announced.

Feinberg said that the fund will be uncapped, meaning that it will have no upper limit, and that GM will offer compensation to all drivers, passengers and bystanders who were injured or died in accidents linked to the defective switches. The fund will even cover accidents that have not yet occurred, and will compensate any individuals involved in GM ignition switch-related accidents through the end of this year.

The cases stem from a GM ignition switch recall first issued in February, which has been expanded several times to ultimately include more than 2.5 million Chevy Cobalt, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac G5, Pontiac Pursuit, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky vehicles.

The automaker has acknowledged that the vehicles may suddenly shut of if heavy key chains were used or if the ignition was jarred, such as may occur in an accident. This may switch off the air bags, causing them to fail to deploy when needed in an accident.

Some have suggested that General Motors hopes that the creation of a settlement fund will alleviate some of the potential legal woes and negative corporate image generated by the controversial recall, as it has been established that GM know about the potential ignition switch problems for years, yet failed to correct the problem or recall the vehicles. Barra called the fund GM’s “civic duty.”

While GM has indicated that it only knows of 13 deaths and about 47 accidents linked to the recall, the federal investigators and independent consumer groups have predicted that those numbers are expected to rise upon deeper analysis of accident records.

Economic Damages Lawsuits Not Included

Barra and other GM officials have said that while the company wants to compensate injury and death victims, it will attempt to fight off any lawsuits involving economic damages. Those lawsuits, including several class actions, have come from both GM vehicle owners who say their vehicles have depreciated in value, and investors who said the company made false statements about the safety of its vehicles, artificially inflating the value of its stock.

GM officials have known about the ignition switch problems since at least 2002, according to investigations by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and GM’s own internal probe. However, the company failed to act until this year, due to what GM’s own report called a “pattern of incompetence.”

The NHTSA fined GM a record $35 million over their handling of the recall. The automaker also agreed to submit to extensive government oversight as part of a consent agreement designed to change the culture of the company.

At least 15 different GM ignition switch lawsuits have already been filed, and the number of cases is expected to grow.

In early June, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order consolidating all economic lawsuits against GM under U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in federal court in New York for pretrial proceedings.

GM Recalls Continue

Since the first ignition switch recall was announced, GM has issued numerous recalls for other problems with its vehicles, affecting more than 20 million vehicles in North America this year.

On Friday, GM announced additional recalls affecting more than half a million more vehicles for various reasons.

The largest is a recall of 392,459 model year 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado trucks and 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs. Only the four-wheel drive versions of the vehicles are affected by the recall, which may require a dealer to recalibrate software controlling the gears. Vehicles affected by the problem can slip into neutral unexpectedly, the company warns.

Just under 30,000 model year 2013 and 2014 Chevy Cruze vehicles are also being recalled because they may have defective air bags. The air bags were made by Takata Corporation and have resulted in millions of recalled vehicles from more than half a dozen auto makers. The recall came after GM ordered dealers to temporarily halt Chevy Cruze sales.

In some cases, the air bag inflators can launch shrapnel into the passenger’s compartment, putting occupants at risk of injury or death. In other cases, there have been reports of the air bags opening unexpectedly due to humidity.

The Chevy Cruze is GM’s best-selling vehicle.

Photo Courtesy of Mrs. FireMom via Flickr Creative Commons

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89 comments

  1. Don Reply

    I was involved in an acccident which my airbag didn’t deploy. I suffered a broken nose and still have headaches from the concussion. Please contact me

  2. Cynthia Reply

    I was in an accident in my 2006 chevy silverado. I hit back of a truck at about 45 mph and my airbag didnt deploy. I broke my orbital floor bone and fractured ano5her facial bone. I was very lucky bc these injuries can be fatal.

  3. Araceli Reply

    My daughter and my 2 grandchildren were in my 2010 Chevy Impala and were involved in a accident 2 of them were injured . None of the airbags deployed. My was totaled. Please contact me

  4. Chris Reply

    My wife and daughter were involved in a collision in our tahoe and the airbags did not deploy

  5. Joseph Reply

    I hit a wall and none of my airbags deployed in my chevy pickup

  6. Walter Reply

    I was in an accident two days ago, my airbag did not deploy. I hit someome from behind that was at a dead stop and i was doing approx. 40-45mph before i slamed on the brakes, it even bent the frame of the car at the front of my engine bay all the way back to the engine. What shoukd i do? Fortunately i was not seriously hurt, but i still feel this is wrong.

  7. LaDonna Reply

    I was in an accident 1 day ago. The air bag didnt deploy and I hit my head and face and I was injured. I have constant pain in my head and forehead. My truck is totaled, 2000 chevy silverado.

  8. Rhonda Reply

    My brother was involved in accident in my Chevrolet impala..air bags did not deploy…happened 7/1/14….he received crushed neck…had to go on ventilator….lost is colon due to hospital stay and his serious condition…has a bag, has a treach..was in SICU for TWO months…cannot walk now.. This is nearly December.. Still in hospital, CALL PLEASE!!!

  9. jt Reply

    i was in a bad i car wreck and broke my nose and back. the car was a 2000 monte carlo ss. the airbags did not deploy. do i have a case and if so, who do i contact

  10. Christopher Reply

    Last Friday night I ran off the road hit several trees and went head on into a ditch. The impact was so bad it riped off my driverside front tire. My airbsg did not deploy. ny Had has a huge knot on it and both eyes are swelled half way black and blue. I was very luck to come out of it s well as I did im currently looking for a job but is hard to get one looking the way I do right now.

  11. angela Reply

    Me and my significant other or driving down the road going home from dinnerwhen we hit a patch of snow with ice we started spinning and went down into the ditch because the truck lost control while hitting several trees going down and after hitting the biggest tree I was on the passenger side and suffered three broken bones in my ankle a broken bone in my spine plus I was trapped there until the paramedics came to get me, my significant other suffered bruising and bleeding on his head and a black eye I cannot be on my feet for 10 weeks and he is seriously injured or because the airbags did not deploy, who do we go about talking about that too

  12. michael Reply

    Have a 2004 Chevy Malabu. Was sitting at a red light when a truck hit me in the rear he was going about 45 pushed me into the car in front of me. My stress bar in the front of my motor snapped in half and the back stress bar was bent with a rip in it. My air bags didn’t deploy and the seat belt didn’t hold. the company that fixed my car said the airbags should have deployed. I have neck, back, left knee and face injures. My insurance has ran out I cannot continue my physical therapy I can’t even go to the doctors because I am unable to work. Have thousands of dollars in hospital and doctor bills. Had a Attorney on the case against GM but because I didn’t die I’m not one of the million dollar cases so he didn’t take the case. I need some help. Please contact me.

  13. tara Reply

    i was hit on driver side ran into a brick wall front first tore my front bumper cover and none of my air bags did not deploy hurt my back and side this was in 2014 still going to the doctor spoke with g.m and they just ignored me and i also just started physical therapy that is just the beginning with this car 06 monte carlo ss this car would stall shut down on you key would get stuck in the ignition for 24 hours sometimes the gear shift would get stuck the door switches would go off by there self and lots more

  14. gary Reply

    i was in an accident in november of 2014. i was in a 2005 sonfire and hit someone from behind doing about 55 the air bags did not deploy and the seatbelt did not lock. i was sent into the roof of the car and am sufferring constant head aches, back pains, and neck pains pleas contact me

  15. lana Reply

    passenger side of car hit , car did 3 spins in road, then front struck a light pole, causing my head to hit steering wheel, car is totaled. bent frame, even the sun roof ripped off…no air bags deployed, I was taken to ER, for knot on head and nose, 4 days later, massive headaches linger, lost wages, and a car that was paid for , i am now being offered $3500 dollars for from my insurance company is sitting in the salvage yard. I did have the ignition recall repair work done, still no airbags, please advise

  16. Aaron Reply

    I was involved in an accident causing serious injury as of 3/21/2014 in my 2008 Saturn Sky, days before the initial recalls were sent.

    Feel free to contact me

  17. Madame Turner Reply

    June 14, 1999 I was so badly injured from this accident which changed my life and health.. I’ve not recovered because of the fault of the Airbags not Delaying…I was re ended at a speed of 55 mile and the driver was coming down a very steep hill in San Deigo…the impact hit me in the vehicle in front of me which we were stopped at a red light… I was driving a 1999 Grand Am 4 door… I am demanding because I deserve financial restitution… My pain level is between 15 -12 % some times 10 and still being seeing by doctors for this accident..

  18. tonya Reply

    Involved in a collison today going 55 miles and hour and airbags did not deploy. Broke my wrist and would like to be contacted. 2007 GMC ACADIA with safety pkg. I want answers!!

  19. Braden Reply

    HAS ANYONE FOUND LUCK OR RESULTS, personally, BY GM ADDRESSING YOUR INJURY/VEHICLE DAMAGE? FROM LACK OF DEPLOYMENT BY AIRBAG?
    Please, whoever can handle this..contact me too.
    I’m latest victim bc of no airbag during my wreck.

  20. shawna Reply

    My son was in an accident yesterday , the airbags in his 2002 Chevy impala didn’t deploy, his cheek is shattered, 6 teeth went through his chin, knots in his head, face swollen.

  21. Kimberly Reply

    I was involved in a hit and run accident yesterday. I drive a 2014 Chevy Cruze. The person rear ended me going around 40mph knocking my car into oncoming traffic causing me to slam my face on the steering wheel, neck pain and sever back pain. The passenger of the car was also sent to the er as well. Afterwards it said “service airbag” on the console but no airbags deployed. Contact me asap!

  22. Kate Reply

    14 deaths, my sister was killed this week.

  23. robert Reply

    my wife & i were involved in headon collision in 07,have reported several times to gm.ignores us.50 mile an hr.airbags didn’t deploy.wife had 2 back surgeries 8 hrs ea.still is not right constant pain.i had cervical surgery and still deal with pain.i don’t know how they could get out of paying for pain.or injuries,as it was blantaly airbag failure

  24. Kevin Reply

    I was involved in a multiple car accident, head on front and passenger’s
    Door was smashed, 2003 saturn.
    Neither airbag ejected.kept some snapshots, shows car totally smashed front end.head Trama
    Cracked right rib from steering wheel . still suffer headaches back
    Spas.is 2 years too late.CALL ME.

  25. brooke Reply

    I was in an accident 2011 with my Chevy cobalt.. I went off the road looking for something and when I looked up I tried to steer it.. But it wouldn’t steer.. Hit a pole at 55-60mph airbags did not deploy.. Face hit the windshield and shattered the glass.. I was life flighted and told my face had fractures and contusion on my lung.. Saw my reconstruction doctor and he flipped.. My nose was not fractured its was shattered into a thousands of little tiny pieces of bone.. Well I called lawyer after Lawyer and not one was interested and told me to call gms claim service.. After all said and done.. They gave me 7,500.. Only 7500 for me being permanent deformed on my face.. I can’t even get the second reconstructive surgery I need.. They told me the don’t pay medical.. Low life’s.. I wish a layer would of helped me out.. Id have you face back if the would off

  26. Caroline Reply

    I was in an accident in March 2014. I hit some one from behind at a dead stop going about 35-40 mph and my airbag did not deploy. I suffered severe bruising to my collar bone and chest bone as well as neck pain. This lasted well over six weeks. I sold the vehicle in March of 2015. I’m wondering if i have any recourse?

  27. Brandan Reply

    I was involved in an accident in my 2007 Chevy Impala and not a single air bag deployed. When I was smashed from behind.

  28. Susan Reply

    My husband was driving onto the fwy on ramp and the Chevy hhr shut off and he lost control of the car and slammed into the center decider and then a car hit him head on, both hits had NO AIRBAG DEPLOY. It happened last week.

  29. Kaela Reply

    My L1 vertebrae was fractured due to my air bags not deploying

  30. Luca Reply

    Had accident with a brand new Cadillac XTS 2013 after 10 months of purchase. Car was total loss and no airbags were deployed.

  31. Vanessa Reply

    I was in a car wreck 3 weeks ago that was not my fault. My 2008 Chevrolet Impala 50th Anniversary Edition, which I only had 4 months, is totaled. My airbags did not deploy. Now I am left with no car, no money for a down payment for a new vehicle, and stuck with an 8 year old who is terrified of being in a vehicle.

  32. LoJann Reply

    I was involved in a hit and run accident where we were rear-ended, our air bags didnt deploy nor did the seatbelts lock at impact but did until we released them. We suffered by hitting the steering wheel, my son hit the visor and my other son hit the driver seat headrest. Now they are locked and says to service airbags.

  33. Tony Reply

    My Daughter had and accident and flipped my 2003 Tahoe and the air bags didn’t deploy. Please call me.

  34. Shana Reply

    I had a wreck in my 2007 cobalt hit a concrete guard rail several times before spinning around and hitting it a final time doing 55mph. My airbag didn’t deploy im covered in bruises two black eyes 7 staples and 4 stitches. My keft knee is swollen and it hurts to walk. Please call

  35. Nicole Reply

    I have had my pontiac sunfire hit while parked twice been backed into once,side swiped once but most recently on January 2nd had a huge Chevy cavalier smash into me on driver side hard enough to break my wheel and the axle on my car and not any of those accidents did my airbags deploy.I now have neck and back injury. Please get back to me.

  36. Mike Reply

    I just got in car accident my airbags did not deploy I was hit in the quarter panel and also in front end damage and still was not employed

  37. Mehmet Reply

    I have 2015 Chevrolet Suburban car.accelerator. Throttle by self be come nothing works in the car .cost accident l got injury wery bad. I called GM.they don’t care. I am still going to DR.please contact me TY.

  38. Eva Reply

    My sister and I was knocked into a brick wall by an eighteen wheeler.. After hitting it, my car hit it; then was knock to the other side of the freeway into the overpasses bridge hit it.. My 2013. Chevy Cruze airbag did not deploy.. Instead, the top lid of my airbag hit me on my forehead.. Glass shattered, my car was totaled.. Both my sister and I suffered neck, head, back , and shoulder injuries.. Need someone to please reply.. This accident happened November 27, 2015

  39. jennifer Reply

    My friend and my sister and my children were in my Pontiac Montana van and they hit black ice and heard a noise and then slammed into a concrete wall dividing the interstate. They hit with the front of the van and spun around 2 times then slid back a long ways. And slammed into the wall again. None of the airbags deployed at all. My van is totaled. Please contact me!!!

  40. Kadrona Reply

    More daughter and niece got involved in a hit and run cause her to flip my vehicle 5 times and the airbags didn’t deployed at all. The jaws of life had to cut them out.

  41. Scott Reply

    I was involved in a head on collision with my 2012 Chevy Silverado, I was traveling approximately 40-45 mph at point of impact. The airbags never deployed, even though the dash says the airbags require service. I was not seriously injured, just bruising, but it could have been much worse, especially if my children would have been on board. I feel that I paid for this piece of mind when I purchased this vehicle, but then when I needed it, it wasn’t there.

  42. Claudia Reply

    I was involved in a side/front collision with my 2012 Chevy Impala, I was traveling approximately 45-50 mph at point of impact. The airbags never deployed, even though the entire front frame of my vehicle was damaged, looked like an accordion. My daughter and I were not seriously injured, just bruising, aches and pain and misalignment of my neck and back, but it could have been much worse. My husband and I feel that we paid for this piece of mind when we purchased the vehicle and thought we were putting our children in a safe vehicle, but then when we needed the safety, it wasn’t there. Please contact me.

  43. Marco Reply

    I was involved in a car accident with my work truck 2009 chevy colorado i got hit on the side /front of the truck airbags didn’t deploy. Chipped my teeth and back pain ,neck pain and i have been going to physical therapy for two months now

  44. Jacob Reply

    I was in an accident in Feb 2011 and my airbags did not deploy. The crash happened st 65mph into a concrete barrier. I went into the windshield, totaled truckI am lucky to be alive. I had a concussion and now I have migranes, neck nerve damage and constant pain. I also have damaged disks in my neck. Please contact me.

  45. Angela Reply

    I was in an accident Feb 19, 2016. 2007 GMC Acadia SLE 2.
    Car was totaled with front end damage and driver side door impact. Front airbags are visible in photos, side airbags did not deploy. I suffered and serious head injury and spent 4 days in the trauma
    unit. Do I seek legal advice or trust you will offer me some viable answers. Please Contact Me

  46. Jennifer Reply

    My Chevy was involved in a front end accident yesterday and the airbags did not deploy. Please contact me. My car is almost a total loss.

  47. joe Reply

    My wife was in a car accident, she got another car. The seat belt stoped her but the airbags had a delay to were she didnt need the air bag and did more damage to her face, she was knocked out cold, a women had to wake her up. I need advise to resolve this problem.

  48. Nathan Reply

    My son was in a car accident in his 2007 Saturn Vue which he flipped 3 times to come to rest on its roof. He suffered a broken clavicle, abrasions to his face and head, eye injury, his left side of his head swelled up, 3 chipped and 1 broken tooth. He has to have a metal plate put in his shoulder to aid his broken clavicle. His car was totaled. The airbags did not deploy.

  49. vanissa Reply

    Jan 28th 2013 I was hit in my Chev Malibu ss 2010 in the front had to have surgery on my shoulder air bag never deployed.

  50. Rockyba Reply

    I own a 2008 Buick Enclave. It has not been involved in any accidents. Due to Heavy Rain leaking through my sunroof which is not draining properly… caused my airbags to deploy and the repair services considers it a total loss. What are my options?

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