As if General Motors didn’t have enough on its plate with the ignition switch recall. General Motors has been accused of racial bias after awarding an available Chevrolet franchise in Georgia to an African-American dealer, rather than an equally qualified caucasian based dealer group.
U.S. District Judge William Moore Jr. in Savannah found that the complaint by plaintiff Southern Motors Chevrolet Inc. pleads sufficient facts to plausibly suggest that GM intentionally discriminated against it because of the race of its owners.
According to the report from Automotive News, a family dealer network by the name of Kaminsky negotiated a deal to purchase a Fuller Chevrolet store in Rincon, Georgia. GM backed out on the deal and exercised its right of first refusal, and instead awarded it to an African-American owned dealer network.
The company the Kaminskys created for its purchase deal, Southern Motors Chevrolet Inc., asked GM to reimburse its expenses in preparing for the proposed purchase. GM disputed the amount claimed. Now, the Kaminskys are suing for compensatory and punitive damages, alleging racial discrimination under federal civil rights laws and violation of the Georgia dealer franchise law.
General Motors has declined official comment on the matter since its “still in active litigation.” In court papers, though, GM did says it chose the other dealer network because “the candidate chosen is a very successful owner/operator of dealerships for several automobile manufacturers.”
Seems legitimate, but we’ll have to wait and see where this matter ends up.