GM won’t shun all liabilities

Associated Press

General Motors Corp. has agreed to take on responsibility for future product liability claims, removing what could have been a sizable roadblock on the automaker’s path to a quick sale of its assets and emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a new company.

As part of its government-backed restructuring plan, GM wants to sell the bulk of its assets to a new company and leave behind unprofitable assets and other liabilities such as product-related lawsuits.

A hearing on the proposed purchase is scheduled for Tuesday.

But in a concession to consumer groups and state officials, who had threatened to block the sale because of product liability concerns, the new company will now assume responsibility for future -- but not pending -- claims involving vehicles made by the old company, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.