When Chrysler sought bankruptcy protection on April 30, the Obama administration insisted that one of the conditions of its Chapter 11 filing were that all product lawsuits against the Pentastar were the responsibility of "Old Carco LLC." In other words, anyone in litigation with Chrysler as a result of injuries that may have been caused as a result of faulty product would never be paid. The move was obviously unpopular with anyone seeking to sue Chrysler, and it wasn't exactly a public relations boon, either. Some groups were even looking to have product liability disclaimers added to all used Chrysler vehicles on dealer lots.
After taking a closer look at the viability of the new Chrysler Group, the reinvigorated automaker has decided to once again accept legal responsibility for vehicles purchased prior to June, 2009. Chrysler states in a press release (available after the jump) that it is taking a similar stance to how General Motors handled their lawsuits. If that is indeed the case, Chrysler would only take responsibility for future liability claims for cars and trucks assembled prior to bankruptcy – all cases that were in the courts prior to bankruptcy would still be the responsibility of Old Carco. The press release is rather vague and a bit confusing, but you can check it out after the jump.
[Source: Chrysler | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]
Chrysler Group To Expand Accepted Product Liability Claims
Decision reflects confidence in viability of the company
Auburn Hills, Mich. - In a letter sent today to Members of Congress, Chrysler Group LLC announced that the company will accept product liability claims on vehicles manufactured by Chrysler LLC (now OldCarco LLC) before June 10, 2009, and involved in accidents on or after that date. On June 10, 2009, Chrysler Group purchased substantially all of the assets of Old Carco.
"We know a lot more about the viability of our business today than when we purchased Old Carco's assets in its bankruptcy proceedings several months ago," said John Bozzella, Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Public Policy, Chrysler Group LLC. "While Chrysler Group still faces challenges, we are confident that the future viability of the company will not be threatened if we accept these claims."
OldCarco filed for bankruptcy protection on April 30, 2009. Following many complex and lengthy hearings, the bankruptcy court approved the sale of substantially all of OldCarco's assets to a newly formed company, Chrysler Group LLC. As part of the bankruptcy court-approved purchase, Chrysler Group had agreed to assume liability only for cars sold by Chrysler Group. As a result of today's announcement, Chrysler Group's approach is consistent with that taken by General Motors as part of its bankruptcy process.
"We want our customers to feel comfortable and confident buying, driving and enjoying one of our vehicles," Bozzella said. "Chrysler Group vehicles meet or exceed all applicable federal safety standards and have excellent safety records."