GM to pay Georgia a share of $120 million

General Motors will have to pay Georgia and other states a share of a $120-million settlement over allegations that GM concealed safety issues concerning ignition-switch-related defects in the company’s vehicles.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced the multii-mllion dollar, multi-state settlement with GM late last week.

The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia and GM concludes a multi-state investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to timely disclose known safety defects associated with unintended key- rotation-related and/or ignition-switch-related issues in several models and model years of GM vehicles.

In 2014, GM issued seven vehicle recalls in response to unintended key-rotation-related and/or ignition-switch-related issues, which have affected over 9 million vehicles in the United States.

The recalls involved a defective ignition switch which, under certain conditions, could move out of the “Run” position to the “Accessory” or “Off” position.

When that happens, the driver experiences a loss of the vehicle’s electrical systems, including power steering and power brakes.

If a collision occurs while the ignition switch is in the “Accessory” or “Off” position, the vehicle’s safety airbags may also fail to deploy, increasing the risk of serious injury or death in certain types of crashes in which the airbag was otherwise designed to deploy.

The states alleged GM knew of the ignition switch issue as early as 2004, but chose to do nothing.

They claim GM’s lack of action was unfair and deceptive and that the automaker’s actions violated state consumer protection laws, including Georgia’s Fair Business Practice Act.

GM has agreed to pay the participating attorneys general a total of $120 million, of which Georgia’s share is just over $2.7 million dollars.