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Recalls and take downs

Toyota has been through it: lawyers smelling blood in the water, injured consumers, and those going for the gold by signing on to class-action lawsuits.

Now it’s General Motors’ turn.

Thousands of G.M. vehicles are part of the current faulty ignition-switch recall, another auto company scandal and shakedown, er, problem (witness Toyota and its “unintended acceleration” woes).

Last week, a U.S. judge in Texas decided to “go slow” after lawyers and families of victims called for a corporate lynching. They want General Motors to ground 2.53 million cars due to the defective ignition. So, how do 2.53 million drivers get around without their cars? It’s an immense problem that no consumer lawyer, or even a federal judge, can get their hands around. In fact, the problem might cause its own spin off of lawsuits (to which many in our area will be happy to sign on to).

G.M. is one of only two remaining U.S.-owned auto companies. Chrysler, like it or not, is really a foreign car company now being owned by the Italians thanks to Uncle Sam giving away that farm to foreigners just after the U.S. taxpayer bailed it out. And, ironically, as a new, leaner, meaner G.M., under Mary Barra’s leadership, was emerging from its predecessor’s bankrupt Government Motors bailout image, the old G.M. made a creepy reappearance, much like actor Jack Nicholson’s weird movie character in “The Shining”.

Toyota’s scandal and subsequent $1.2 billion shakedown by the DOJ—due to the controversial unintended acceleration debacle—was in the big news just as the G.M. problem moved up in the headlines to remind us that it’s always open season on big business. But in fairness to the Detroit boys and girls—hey, if Toyota vehicles weren’t grounded over the acceleration problem (which had casualties, too) why should G.M.’s vehicles be grounded?

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