GM Reaches $120m Settlement With States Over Switches

A GM ignition switch

A GM ignition switch

General Motors is going to fork over $120 million - with about $10 million going to area states - as part of a settlement over the cover-up of safety issues related to faulty ignition switches that resulted in dozens of deaths including a 21-year-old Pennsylvania woman, state attorneys general Josh Shapiro and Christopher Porrino announced Thursday. The settlement concludes the state investigations.

The settlement also addresses additional GM recalls that involved unintended rotation of ignition switches.

GM spokesman David Caldwell confirmed on Thursday the Detroit automaker had reached a settlement with states over the more than three-year-old consumer protection investigations. "Misrepresentations of safety standards are particularly troubling when they deal with motor vehicles because of the potential damage that can be done". Schneiderman noted that the 44-page consent decree also requires GM to ensure future safety.

The defect in the GM ignition switches caused vehicles to move out of the run position to the accessory or off position, according to Beshear's office.In a crash, the vehicle's safety airbags may fail to deploy because of a loss of electrical systems.

"As the people's lawyer, my office is working to protect Kentucky families and hold accountable companies that violate Kentucky's consumer protection laws", Beshear said. The company ended up recalling more than 30 million vehicles worldwide.

Of its share, $350,000 would go into the AG's Consumer Protection Fund, and the rest into the state's "rainy day, " or General Fund. Jepsen said his office represented CT by serving on the multistate investigation's nine-state executive committee.

The states alleged that certain employees of GM and General Motors Corporation, which went through bankruptcy proceedings in 2009, knew as early as 2004 that the switch posed a safety defect. Dealerships must make sure recall repairs are complete before they can sell the vehicle.

Not represent that any GM auto is safe unless they have complied with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The settlement is not final unless and until approved by the court.

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