Posted on Sep 21, 2015

The Justice Department has charged GM with criminal wire fraud and has slapped them with a $900 million fine stemming for their faulty ignition switches.  GM reportedly has to pay this fine out of their third quarter 2015 revenues. 

GM's faulty ignition switches came to light when they were forced to recall vehicles whose ignition switches can spontaneously slip out of the "run" position, turning the engine off and preventing the airbag from deflating. This malfunction has caused the deaths of at least 169 people, CNN reports

This fine from the government is in addition to the nearly $600 million dollars GM says they will have to spend comepensating drivers with cars affected by the malfunctioning ignition switch in numerous civil lawsuit settlements. 

As part of the deal to settle the case with the Justice Department, GM has agreed to continue cooperating with federal officials and use an independent monitor that will be appointed to oversee their safety procedures and its recall policies. 

GM admitted they knew about the problem for nearly a decade, and did nothing about it. Although GM employees concealed the problem, no individual employee at GM has been charged of any criminal wrong-doing by the Justice Department, and some families who have lost loved ones are enraged.  To some, it seems unfair that GM employees knew about the faulty switch, didn't say anything, and will face no personal consequence for it. 

Unfortunately, the GM switches have caused hundreds of people to lose a loved one - at no fault of their own.  Although you can put no price on human lives, it is good that the affected drivers and their loved ones are being compensated for their losses. 

And how did all of this bad corporate conduct come to light? A lawyer who represented the familiy of a young lady killed in an accident caused when the ignition switch turned off unexpectedly and shut the car down.  

Do you think GM blamed the driver, the weather, the road surface and anything or anyone else they could so they wouldn't have to take responsibility for causing a young person's death?

That's what insurance companies do too - whenever one of their drivers hurts someone else through negligent driving.

At Donahoe Kearney, we know that sometimes there is nothing you can do avoid an accident that wasn't your fault.  So, we are here to fight for you and get you compensation for your loss if you've been seriously hurt in a no fault automobile accident in the D.C., Maryland or Virginia area.  Give us a call at 202-393-3320 or contact us using our online form to discuss your case with one of our attorneys. 

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer