The payment is part of a settlement of claims that the automaker failed to disclose safety defects.

Maine will receive $1.1 million as part of a multistate, $120 million settlement with General Motors Co. over allegations that the Detroit automaker concealed safety issues related to defects in certain vehicles.

The settlement, reached between GM and the attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia, concludes a multistate investigation into the auto manufacturer’s failure to disclose the defects in a timely way, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills’ office said Thursday in a news release.

“This intentional deception by GM created a dangerous situation for their customers and for everyone else on the road,” Mills said in the release. “My office will continue to go after deception by any business, no matter how big, that endangers the public.”

In 2014, GM issued seven vehicle recalls affecting more than 9 million vehicles in the U.S. The recalls involved a defective ignition switch that can cause a loss of electrical systems, including power steering and power brakes.

The vehicles’ safety airbags also might fail to deploy in a collision, increasing the risk of serious injury or death in crashes, according to the release.


The states alleged that certain GM employees knew as early as 2004 that the ignition switch posed a safety problem because it could cause the airbag to fail.

Despite that knowledge, GM personnel delayed issuing recalls, the release said.

GM continued to market the reliability and safety of its motor vehicles, which were equipped with the defective ignition switch.

The states alleged that the automaker’s actions were unfair and deceptive in violation of state consumer protection laws, including Maine’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Mills spokesman Andy Roth-Wells said the $1.1 million will go into the office’s consumer trust account and will be used for purposes such as paying litigation costs and funding programs overseen by the office.

Roth-Wells noted that a class action lawsuit filed by consumers against GM over the defective ignition switches still is underway.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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