SEC investigating GM for ignition switch recall

The aftershocks of General Motors' ignition switch recall keep coming. First, the automaker announced that it saw an 86-percent decrease in net income for the first quarter of 2014 partially due to recall-related expenses. Now, a recent Securities and Exchange Committee filing from GM shows that it's facing a plethora of lawsuits and investigations, including one from the SEC itself.

GM admitted in the filing that as of April 22, it was facing 55 lawsuits in several US District Courts "alleging that consumers have been economically harmed by the recall and/or the underlying vehicle condition." There were also five cases filed in Canada in that time. In addition to these claims, "we are also the subject of various inquiries, investigations, subpoenas and requests for information from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Congress, NHTSA, the SEC, and a state attorney general in connection with our recent recalls."

Many of the pending lawsuits are from GM shareholders that claim the recall is harming the value of the company. These include a case in the US District Court in Detroit by the Police Retirement System of St. Louis. It charges not only the automaker, but also CEO Mary Barra, the chairman of the board, and two previous CEOs, according to The Detroit News.

So far, GM is attempting to limit the impact of lawsuits by having plaintiffs take up some cases with the remains of "Old GM" in court. According to the Detroit Free Press, the business could face several billion dollars in fines and settlements by the time the matter is complete. For comparison, Toyota paid out over a billion dollars just to settle the criminal probe into it unintended acceleration recall.

Autoblog reached out to the automaker and was given no comment – its policy for ongoing legal matters. "GM intends to vigorously defend all of these cases," said the SEC filing.

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