Ten years after quashing a negative report on NBC’s Dateline, the C/K pickup truck has
again come back to haunt General Motors Corp.
A document released by a federal judge in
Montana indicates that General Motors has paid out over the past several years nearly $500
million in claims brought by the owners of the C/K trucks, sold by GM during the 1970 and
GM built more than 10 million C/K truck between 1973 and 1987, but the dispute over
the truck’s design, which included gas tanks mounted outside the C/K’s heavy frame rails,
has outlived the vehicle’s life cycle. Critics have contended the design, with the
side-saddle tanks outside the frame, had left the C/K trucks prone to fire in a crash –
something GM has always denied.