General Motors had hoped to emerge from bankruptcy with a protective coating against future product-liability suits. No such luck, reports the Wall Street Journal. Bowing to government pressure, GM has agreed to change its bankruptcy terms, allowing drivers injured in accidents that stem from vehicle defects to sue the company, rather than join other "unsecured creditors" scavenging the remnants of its former estate.
GM says it isn't required to face such claims—noting that Chrysler avoids responsibility for them in its deal with Fiat—but took responsibility anyway at the insistence of several state attorneys general, the White House auto task force, and consumer advocacy groups. One car-accident victims committee says there are currently more than $1.25 billion in claims against GM.