Lawsuits: Ignition-Related Recalls Cut GM Cars' Trade-In Value

October 16, 2014

General Motors [NYSE: GM] has been hit with two lawsuits that seek class-action status and allege that the owners of vehicles affected by GM's ignition-related recalls have lost value due to the defect and subsequent recall effort.

While a smaller lawsuit could be curbed by a bankruptcy judge, as limitations apply to the types of claims that are allowed, a larger suit, as Bloomberg reports, covers vehicles made after GM emerged from bankruptcy, in 2009, and addresses a loss in resale value—purported to be $2,000 as the result of the recalls on a 2010-2011 Chevrolet Camaro, or $2,900 on a 2009 Pontiac Solstice.

As for the worth of the claims, the firm doesn't out line the source of method of arriving at the loss in value. And the claims do run completely counter to what a number of analysts attested in the months immediately following the GM recalls, when the prices of a number of affected models were found to essentially follow larger market trends.

These lawsuits seek redress now only for those with vehicles affected by GM's ignition-related recalls, but for the owners of all 27 million vehicles affected by GM recalls this year, looking to involve owners who bought or leased a recalled car from July 2009 to July 2014 and either still have it or have sold it since the recalls started in February 2014.

At least one of the suits cite remarks made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deputy administrator David Friedman, who told a Senate panel that the automaker has tried to “hide the ball” from investigators, and that GM had “not silos, but firewalls” to block employees from providing information about the ignition-switch issues.

The automaker has stated that it will “vigorously defend against plaintiffs' claims that GM vehicles have reduced residual value.”

And if you're interested in some deeper reading on the suits, you can see the entire consolidated complaints from the firm here and here.

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