Updated March. 15, 2014 05:02
General Motors is facing the biggest crisis since its revival from bankruptcy protection in 2009, with The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal carrying successive reports that the largest U.S. automaker concealed defects in its vehicles.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that a survey by Friedman Research on airbag failures involving the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion, which were subjected to recall from 2003 to 2012, found as many as 303 people were killed in related accidents. GM`s six models, amounting to a total of 1.6 million units, come with fatal defects, as the engine could stop all of a sudden while driving due to faulty ignition switches, which could cause the loss of power brakes, power steering and airbag deployment failure. Controversy over the fiasco is mounting further since GM had said that the defect was tied to 13 deaths.
According to a report released on Wednesday by The New York Times, contrary to the previous announcement of an acknowledgement of a serious safety problem from 2003, GM actually recognized the defect in 2011. The company has recently admitted. this. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. transportation safety authority, is also found to have remained negligent about the issue for 11 years, the U.S. Congress has started a probe in earnest.
Making matters worse, victims are preparing to file collective lawsuit against GM. Victims are contacting law firms by saying that if GM concealed the problem even though it had been aware that the defect could cause serious accidents, the company could be liable for "fraud charge," which entails far heavier compensation. John Pottow, professor of the University of Michigan Law School, said, You open up the bankruptcy and start all over again.