In the wake of the February 2014 General Motors recall of 2.6 million cars and similar recalls by other automobile companies, drivers who were convicted of accident-related crimes are now challenging their convictions. According to an article in
at least four wrongful conviction cases have recently emerged citing GM’s recall as “newly discovered evidence,” and others are on record regarding defective vehicles from other automotive companies.
The vehicles that GM recalled had been on the road for over a decade before safety hazards, such as a defective ignition switch, were made public last year, writes
Because many drivers were convicted years before GM’s recall, they now face two challenges: overturning their convictions and seeking compensation from GM.
writes that GM has set up a fund to compensate accident victims and expects to pay no more than $625 million from the fund.
So far, accident victims have not had an easy time obtaining the compensation they deserve. One victim, Lakisha Ward-Green, spent three months in jail after she lost control of her car, killing her passenger. Ward-Green pled guilty to avoid a one- to two-year sentence and struggled to find employment upon her release, writes
Ward-Green’s guilty plea was vacated by a Pennsylvania judge last week but prosecutors have appealed the ruling. Since the court did not determine whose fault the accident was in her case, Ward-Green still awaits a definitive ruling before she can claim compensation from GM’s fund.