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Arizona owners of faulty GM cars to split $6.28M settlement

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Wednesday that Arizonans who purchased recalled General Motors vehicles would split $6.28 million as part of a settlement agreement.

The settlement stems from a series of recalls to GM vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch that could switch to “off” or “accessory” while driving.

An Arizona Consumer Fraud lawsuit was filed by the Attorney General’s Office in 2014, alleging that General Motors had concealed defects, engaged in false advertising and created a corporate culture that devalued vehicle safety.

When Brnovich took office in 2015, he amended the lawsuit to include a claim for payments to those who had purchased the affected vehicles. The previous lawsuit did not have any claims for payments.

“Once again, we have successfully stood up for hard-working Arizona tax payers and we’ve got a huge settlement that will go directly into the pockets of Arizona consumers,” Brnovich told KTAR News 92.3 FM‘s Ali Vetnar Wednesday.

“Approximately 33,000 Arizona consumers who purchased certain GM vehicles will be eligible for direct payments as a result of the settlement.”

General Motors had reached a settlement with 49 other states in regards to the recalled vehicles in October of 2017. Arizona, however, filed a separate lawsuit with the intent of giving each Arizonan affected an individual refund.

Brnovich said if Arizona would have joined the other states in the lawsuit, it would have received nearly $2 million. Now, the state is receiving $1 million in fines while consumers who had purchased certain GM vehicles between July 2009 and July 2014, and did not resell the vehicle prior to the recall being announced have the ability to receive a minimum of $200.

Arizonans will receive a release form by mail from a claims administrator, which must be signed in order to receive payment. The payment amount is dependent on the number of claimants and defects that affected each vehicle.

“No one is fighting harder on behalf of Arizona consumers more than I am,” Brnovich said. “I think it is important that consumers know that they have an attorney general that will stand up to big corporations, that will stand up to even Arizona based companies to do what is right for hard-working Arizona taxpayers.

“That’s what I am committed to do.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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