GM Off the Hook as Judge Quashes Demand for "Park-It" Order

Apr 17 2014, 6:24pm CDT | by

General Motors Co. finally caught a break in a Texas court its ongoing ignition safety snafu.

GM has already been forced it to recall 2.6 million vehicles with defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. The company expects the campaign will cost it $1.3 million. CEO Mary Barra was raked over the coals in Congress last week. And personal injury lawsuits are mounting.

Plaintiffs Charles and Grace Silvas, owners of a recalled 2006 Chevy Cobalt, sought a federal emergency order to force GM to tell its customers to stop driving all eight models involved in the recall.

But today U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi, Texas, denied that unprecedented request. The judge is deferring to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which she says is better equipped to deal with the complex technical issues involved. Ramos notes that the Silvas haven’t made any attempt to get NHTSA to issue a “Park-It” order.

GM spokesman Greg Martin says the company is “pleased with the ruling.” The first replacement ignition parts are now on their way to dealers, and recall repairs are scheduled to begin next week.

The carmaker insists the recalled vehicles are safe to drive if consumers take everything off their key rings except car keys. With a heavily laden keychain, if one of those cars hit a bump, the defective ignition switch can turn off the engine and disable airbags and power brakes. That’s scary news for drivers in parts of the country where roads are riddled with potholes after a bad winter.

Bob Hilliard, the Silvas’ attorney, claims GM knows that “by winning this hearing, people will die or be seriously injured” in their defective vehicles.”

But the couple’s motion didn’t cite lofty claims about the public good. The Silvas sought the “Park-It” order to protect the resale value of their Cobalt and their personal safety if recalled cars aren’t taken off the road.

The automaker is still facing potentially huge damages in suits filed on behalf of people killed or injured because of defective ignition switches. Earlier this week, GM asked a federal court to shield it from liability in any accidents that occurred before it emerged from bankruptcy in mid-2009 as a new company.

Plaintiffs in other class-action case are demanding payouts for the resale value they say their vehicles have lost because of the recall. Typically, an automaker will settle such claims by offering owners a rebate on the purchase of one of its new vehicles.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

India, Nepal agree to complete field work in border
Kathmandu, Sep 19 (IANS) Nepal and India have formed two panels to look into the boundary issue for the first time and finalised the terms of reference (ToRs) of the Boundary Working Group (BWG). The first meeting of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
France launches first airstrikes against IS in Iraq
Paris, Sep 19 (IANS) France's President Francois Hollande said Friday French jets have launched first airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq where they seized major towns and threatened the region'...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Fireworks light Incheon sky as Asian Games ceremony begins
Incheon (South Korea), Sep 19 (IANS) A fusillade of fireworks marked the start of the opening ceremony of the 17th Asian Games at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium here Friday. Fireworks lit up the sky here after a...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
GlaxoSmithKline China hit with record fine
Beijing, Sep 19 (IANS) The China branch of British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been fined three billion yuan ($489 million) for paying bribes. Following Friday's closed-door trial of the GSK China bribery...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Rita Ora desperate to reconcile with Calvin Harris
London, Sep 19 (IANS) Singer Rita Ora is reportedly desperate to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris following their messy break-up earlier this year. The "RIP" singer has written a letter to her former...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
IS uses chemical weapons against army in Iraq
Baghdad, Sep 19 (IANS) The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has reportedly launched a chemical attack on Iraqi forces in Saladin province, media reports claimed Friday. The attack took place Wednesday and Thursday...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Rajnath Singh proposes SAARC centre for good governance
Kathmandu, Sep 19 (IANS) Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday proposed setting up a SAARC centre for good governance where officers from all member countries can come together to exchange their experiences....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Deadpool movie given release date
20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios have announced that the X-Men spin-off 'Deadpool' will be released on February 12, 2016. The character appeared in the 2009 film 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine', with Ryan Reynolds playing...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Toby Kebbell linked to Ben Hur remake
Toby Kebbell is in early talks to appear in the remake of Ben Hur. According to Variety, the actor- who starred in 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' - has already held discussions with MGM and Paramount over the role of...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Liam Neeson loves fishing
Liam Neeson goes fly fishing to escape the Hollywood lifestyle. The 'Taken' actor - who has sons Michael, 19, and Daniel, 18, with late wife Natasha Richardson - tries to take two months off every year to indulge in his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla