Blog

Don't Assume You'll Get Blank Check from GM

In 2014, GM has issued over 50 recalls for millions of cars in a crisis that has left the company's in CEO Mary Barra in constant damage control mode.

Earlier this summer, as part of its effort to manage the crisis, GM created a protocol to compensate victims who were seriously injured or had lost loved ones in crashes involving the ignition switch problem. GM retained Kenneth Feinberg to manage the General Motors Compensation Protocol. At the time he said that the "only limitation [GM] really laid out, was the limitation that only certain eligible vehicles are subject to this program." The list of eligible vehicles does not include all cars with faulty ignition switches or key rotation problems. Alan Adler, a spokesman for the Detroit automaker, confirmed that only roughly 2.5 million cars involved in the initial ignition switch recalls would be eligible for the compensation protocol.

That leaves more than 10 million cars that GM has recalled since March whose owners are not eligible to file a claim under the GM protocol according to Adler. Camille Biros, the deputy administrator of the protocol, told Fortune that the list of eligible vehicles was entirely in the hands of GM. Among the vehicles recalled since March, there have been three fatalities in two crashes involving Chevrolet Impalas, Adler said. He noted that GM does not know for sure that ignition switches causing airbags not to deploy were involved in these crashes, but it cannot be ruled out.

Despite this, GM doesn't think the problems in the 10 million cars recalled since March rise to the levels of those in the cars recalled in February and March. Adler also said that extensive testing has been done on all of the cars recalled for ignition switch problems, and that "nothing suggested that it was warranted" to include the rest of the recalled cars in the Feinberg protocol. He noted that GM had received few complaints and that "nothing led us to believe that there was anything approaching" the level of problems that were in the Cobalts and other cars included in the compensation protocol.

Adler said that the recalls done since March have been the result of GM's own investigations and testing, not complaints from customers. He did note that since the recalls were issued, the company has asked customers to come forward with similar issues. He added that cars recalled in February and March will have a full parts replacement, while those recalled after March only require an ignition insert that prevents the key from rotating when it's not supposed to.

If a customer believes GM should compensate them for an incident that took place in one of these cars, they'll have to go about it in the more traditional way, Adler said - by taking GM to court. That option is, of course, available to any GM customer, but those who decide to participate in the compensation plan are required to waive their right to sue the company.

If you or someone you love have been injured in an automobile accident, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, and Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories