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It was probably mid-1980, soon after the federal government agreed to guarantee massive loans to financially struggling Chrysler Corp., when then-Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca invited groups of auto media and analysts to its styling center for an off-the-record preview of what was coming two, three, even four years down the road. Most were impressed.

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According to Reuters, General Motors is on its way into bankruptcy court today in an effort to win approval and access to additional federal funding under its asset-split plan. The automaker filed for Chapter 11 protection just 30 days ago, but it will now go before Judge Robert Gerber to sell desirable assets (think: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick) to "New GM" and jettison various debts and negative assets by consigning them to "Old GM," which would be liquidated. If it succeeds in winning cou

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A consumer group representing people who currently have product liability claims against GM and Chrysler looks like it won't be getting much, if any, restitution. When GM went into bankruptcy, it still planned to deny any liability claims -- ones that came up today, for instance -- when the new GM was formed. In a reversal meant to quell resistance from that consumer groups and state officials, New GM has agreed to assume liability for future claims on products made by Old GM.

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