The State of Arizona has leveled a massive $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors, claiming the American car company hid safety defects from the public to avoid the cost of recalls.
Arizona’s Attorney General Tom Horne says that the state is seeking $10,000 per violation, and claims there have been hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting owners and lessees driving unsafe vehicles thanks to General Motors. The lawsuit is fighting to get back the value that consumers lost thanks to a slew of safety recalls. It also alleges that GM CEO Mary Barra knew about a power steering safety defect in 2011 when she was head of product development, an issue that wasn’t disclosed to the public until 2014.
This lawsuit means that Arizona is breaking away from a group of 48 state attorney generals that have launched an investigation into GM. “We’re proceeding with our own suit because it’s the best way to protect the citizens of Arizona,” Attorney General Thomas C. Horne, a Republican, said in an interview with the New York Times. “General Motors represented that it was taking care of the safety of its cars, and in fact there were serious defects that it did not disclose to the public for years.”
GM has been hit by many lawsuits this year following a recall for 2.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch. That recall was the catalyst for GM to start getting serious on safety, and has since recalled 26.5 million cars in the United States alone in 2014. About 300,000 of those recalled vehicles were from Arizona.
“We have reviewed the complaint filed by the State of Arizona,” GM said in a statement. “It mischaracterizes the facts, the performance of our vehicles and our work to ensure the safety of our customers. We intend to vigorously defend the case.”
[Source: NY Times]
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