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Beshear says Kentucky’s share of settlement with General Motors will net $1.3 million

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky’s General Fund will be enriched by $1.3 million after a multi-state settlement with General Motors for violating Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act.

The Attorney General’s office said the settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia with GM, concludes a multistate investigation into the automaker concealing safety issues related to ignition switch defects in more than nine million GM vehicles in the U.S.

Andy Beshear

As part of the settlement, GM will pay fees to each state and district, as well as ensure all applicable recall repairs are complete.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the multistate investigation centered on GM’s 2014 seven-vehicle recall regarding defective ignition switches, which could move out of the “run” position to the “accessory” or “off” position.

If this occurs, the driver experiences a loss of electrical systems, including power steering and power brakes, and if a collision occurs at this time, the vehicle’s safety airbags may fail to deploy.

The action alleges certain employees of the automaker knew as early as 2004 that the ignition switch posed a safety defect, yet GM personnel decided it was not a safety concern and delayed making recalls. GM also continued to market the reliability and safety of its motor vehicles that were equipped with the defective ignition switch.

“As the people’s lawyer, my office is working to protect Kentucky families and hold accountable companies that violate Kentucky’s consumer protection laws,” Attorney General Andy Beshear said. “The $1.3 million settlement announced today will provide much needed revenue to the state’s General Fund to help address any budget shortfall.”

Beshear’s office said since he became attorney general they have won penalties from three automakers – Volkswagen, Hyundai-Kia and now GM – yielding more than $4.7 million for Kentucky’s General Fund.

Kentucky’s settlement with GM has been presented to Franklin Circuit Court.

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