The government is asking taxpayers to bail out some of the financially troubled car companies, who are facing bankruptcy in the near future. Upon emerging from bankruptcy, some car makers are asking for a fresh start as they move forward, raising concerns that they are trying to avoid paying on past financial obligations.
Speaking on CPTV’s On The Record
, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal addressed these issues saying, “I am concerned, in fact I’m outraged that Chrysler is on the verge of receiving, basically, immunity, a shield against responsibility for defective vehicles that were sold before the bankruptcy closing.” “They are being given a pass that no other manufacturer would ever expect for a defective product,” he added.
However the Attorney General didn’t seem to think that this disregard of product liability would pass muster in the courts. “The fact is that there are clear legal principles applied every day in bankruptcy court. Successor liability, to name one doctrine and continuing enterprise, that makes companies responsible when they emerge from bankruptcy under new ownership for the liabilities of the predecessor,” he said.
He seemed most concerned about the impact on the consumer, saying, “My view is taxpayer dollars, most troublingly, are being used to bail out Chrysler, and the new Chrysler will refuse to pay obligations that have harmed the taxpayers, themselves. In other words, taxpayers are bailing them out and the taxpayers are the ones who were harmed.”
Some car dealerships in Connecticut will be closed, as part of the bankruptcy plan; however, the car companies, such as GM, are not specifying which ones. This raises a red flag for Blumenthal, who said, “We think customers and consumers have a right to know whether that dealership’s going to be around. If the dealership won’t say, GM should say. Obviously there are all kind of reasons that car buyers would want to know if that dealership’s going to be in existence to service it, and whether or not the warranties will be enforceable through another dealership. They have a right to know.”
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