Attorney General Andy Beshear today announced his office secured $1.3 million for the state’s General Fund from a settlement against General Motors (GM) for violating Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act.
The settlement, reached between the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia and GM, concludes a multistate investigation into the automaker concealing safety issues related to ignition switch defects in over 9 million GM vehicles in the U.S.
As part of the settlement, GM will pay fees to each state and district, as well as ensure all applicable recall repairs are complete.
“As the people’s lawyer, my office is working to protect Kentucky families and hold accountable companies that violate Kentucky’s consumer protection laws,” 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.”
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 states alleged, 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.
Kentucky’s settlement with GM has been presented to Franklin Circuit Court.
Since taking office Beshear has secured penalties from three automakers, GM, Volkswagen and Hyundai-Kia, which has yielded more than $4.7 million for the General Fund.