Discussion: Government Fines GM Maximum $35M In Safety Case

Discussion for article #222828

If corporations are people, then when will GM be tried for murder?

GM has acknowledged knowing about the problem for at least a decade, but it didn’t recall the cars until this year. The company says at least 13 people have died in crashes linked to the problem.

We have the dead, and the rich. Is it any wonder that justice isn’t done?

1 Like

So assuming they were making roughly the same amount a year for the last decade that they knew of the problem the penalty for delaying the recall equals roughly .09% or .0009 of the amount of money they brought in over that period. That sounds like it will be sure to dissuade them from doing this again.

35 million isn’t chicken feed. Neither is the publicity.

We were discussing this over on another forum. Some of the deaths involved people who were impaired by alcohol or drugs, and couldn’t safely stop their car when the ignition turned off. And the only cases where this defect operated were very heavy keychains–one involved a wallet hanging from the key.

GM should have corrected this. The fine is warranted, as is the bad publicity. But the actual mechanism affected only a very specific set of drivers (those with really big keychains), and the hazard involved made the car somewhat harder to handle, but not uncontrollable or actually dangerous. This is not an accelerating Prius or an exploding Pinto.

It’s a set of cars that could drop out their ignition keys if too much other weight was attached to them. Causing the cars to shut off, and the power steering and power brakes to stop assisting, requiring more effort to steer and slow the car down.

GM wasn’t making dangerous cars, per se. They were making cars that weren’t sufficiently resistant to user’s proclivity for exceeding common sense when it came to attaching extra stuff to their ignition keys.

That’s not good. But it is different than making cars with a defect that potentially affects everyone who drives them.