It's a tough day to be working for General Motors, and it just got a little tougher. The troubled automaker just got sued for $10 billion, or possibly more, for lost resale values of their recalled vehicles.
Reuters says this new lawsuit, filed today in a California federal court, claims the slew of recalls over the past few months — as well as the delayed response to the ignition switch defect — have damaged the brand, and thus hurt owners' ability to sell their cars one day, anywhere from $500 to $2,600.
What's interesting is the lawsuit doesn't just affect the recalled cars (even though they're up to 20 million now) but all GM cars because it claims the entire brand has taken a black eye over the safety crisis.
"GM's egregious and widely publicized conduct and the never-ending and piecemeal nature of GM's recalls has so tarnished the affected vehicles that no reasonable consumer would have paid the price they did when the GM brand meant safety and success," the complaint said.
The plaintiff is Anna Andrews, a resident of La Quinta, California. She said she would not have bought her used 2010 Buick LaCrosse, or would have paid less for it, had GM done a better job of disclosing vehicle defects.
The suit seeks class-action status from anyone who bought or leased a GM car between July 1, 2009 — around the time the company emerged from bankruptcy — to April of 2014.
It may sound silly, but lost resale value is what cost Toyota a whopping $1.3 billion in claims when those suits were settled in late 2012. And because of the dates involved, GM may not be able to hide behind the bankruptcy protections for this one.
This has the potential to get very expensive for GM if it moves forward.