The GM Recall: Lessons for the Rest of Us

November 7, 2014 - 5 minutes read

You already know of the trouble at General Motors.  In fact, you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t seen the related headlines.  Throughout the first months of 2014 we have become all too familiar with the ever-expanding disaster of the GM Recall and its subsequent legal fallout.  The growing list of corporate cover ups, legal slight of hand, not to mention automotive technical issues have been illustrated tirelessly across all sorts of media.  In this near constant flood of information and its surrounding mess however, those of us not directly involved can find a more personal lesson to apply to our own professional dealings.  Well worth heeding, especially for those of us in the legal field, is the lesson of the necessity and value of clear and honest communication.

The Overarching Problem

The issue underlying all of the trouble now faced by GM and those dealing with them began with the one major mistake of neglecting clarity and honesty in communication.  At first discovery of the problem a choice was made, and the engineers and legal team at GM chose poorly.  As we all now know, rather than face the consequences of dealing with faulty engineering in a great many of its vehicles, GM chose to sweep everything under the rug.  What’s more, the company chose to deny the problem’s existence when questioned about it.  These tragically mislead decisions in communication resulted in the eventual deaths of 13 people as well as injuries to hundreds more.  Rarely are we shown the possible price of vague and dishonest communication so clearly, and in this case, to such an extreme.

A Simple Lesson

For those of us fortunate enough to be watching and thinking on the unfolding of these circumstances from the outside, the lesson is a simple one:  Act honestly and plainly.  Admitting errors or complications at an early stage, though possibly costly, can help to prevent a growing snowball of practical and potential legal problems later.  As seen in the GM recall, the cost of dealing with problems generated through dishonesty may prove more expensive than our original issue, with the added expense of loss of trust from our clients and peers as well.

The choices we face day to day in our profession are rarely as large scale or dramatic as the ones faced and fumbled by General Motors and the decisions we make are often rather clearly defined in terms of possible outcome.  If we pay attention to the underlying issue beneath the loud radio headlines and internet chatter, we are reminded of the potential disaster that may arise from choosing to ignore the wisdom of clear and honest communication, despite any current discomfort it may cause.

GM Vehicles Recalled

The recall list is continually updated to include more and more vehicles manufactured by GM.  The most recent list includes:

  • 2008-2013 Buick Enclave
  • 2005-2009 Buick Lacrosse
  • 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne
  • 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS
  • 2001-2014 Cadillac CTS
  • 2000-2005 Cadillac Deville
  • 2007-2011 Cadillac DTS
  • 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX
  • 2010-2014 Chevrolet Camaro
  • 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2000-2014 Chevrolet Impala
  • 1997-2009 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2008-2013 GMC Acadia
  • 2007-2009 Daewoo G2X
  • 2004-2006 Malibu Maxx
  • 2000-2005 Monte Carlo
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
  • 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrique
  • 2008-2010 Opel GT
  • 2007 Opel/Vauxhall GT
  • 2005-2006 Pontiac G4
  • 2003-2010 Pontiac G5
  • 2004-2009 Pontiac G6
  • 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
  • 2005-2010 Pontiac Pursuit
  • 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2008-2009 Saturn Aura
  • 2003-2007 Saturn ION
  • 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook
  • 2007-2011 Saturn Sky

Contact Johnson Law Group for GM Recall Representation

If someone you know was injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident involving one of the GM vehicles listed above, you need legal representation fast. Johnson Law Group is now accepting cases for those who suffered such an injury or death.