July 23, 2009
The terms of the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies have created arbitrary and artificial classes of claimants. Here are the current parameters for liability:
Chrysler: Date of Bankruptcy Exit: June 10
What’s Out: The new Chrysler has no liability for any vehicles built by the old Chrysler. That means: the liability for all current, pending and future claims of any Chrysler vehicle built before the automaker exited bankruptcy belong to the old company.
Recovery of Unsecured Claims: Projected to be zero (or at most ½ cent/dollar).
General Motors: Date of Bankruptcy Exit: July 10
What’s In: The new GM agreed to assume liability for vehicles built by the old company, if the incident occurs after July 10, when GM exited bankruptcy.
What’s Out: The old GM retains the liability for all current and pending claims. If the incident occurred before July 10th, it is considered a pending claim, even if it has not yet been filed.
Recovery of Unsecured Claims: Unsecured claims in GM are predicted to receive between 10-20 cents on the dollar, several years from now. This is based on projections; there is no guarantee. Cost of administration claims will likely be paid in full for anyone having an accident in the five weeks in between when GM entered and exited bankruptcy, once the old company is liquidated.