6 Million Owners of GM Pickup Trucks to Receive Class Action Settlement Certificates and Cash Alternative Offer

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Certificate Redemption Group, LLP

    HOUSTON, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of one of the largest automotive
 class action settlements in history, nearly six million owners of GM pickup
 trucks will receive a letter from General Motors over the next few days
 offering them a certificate they can use toward the purchase of a new GM
 vehicle.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010419/HSTH009-a
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010419/HSTH009-b
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010419/HSTH009-c )
     At the same time, class members should watch their mail for a letter from
 the attorneys who represented them in the lawsuit.  This letter will include a
 groundbreaking offer from Houston-based Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) to
 pay class members $100 for their certificates if they are not in the market
 for a new car or truck.
     The unusual cash offer is endorsed by the attorneys representing the class
 members and several consumer organizations.  It was designed to create a
 secondary market for the certificates to ensure that all class members
 actually get something of value as part of the settlement.
     "Class action settlements too often ignore the little guys and they get
 nothing from these multi-million dollar settlements," says James R. Dawley,
 chairman and CEO of CRG.
     "This is the first attempt in an automotive class-action lawsuit of this
 size to put money in the hands of a significant number of class members.  In
 previous certificate settlements, typically no more than 10 percent of the
 class members have redeemed their certificates.  Apparently, that is what GM
 is counting on to keep their exposure down in this lawsuit.  If one million
 truck owners -- who aren't going to use their certificates anyway -- accept
 our cash offer, we could return $75-$100 million to the class.  If GM
 continues to try and prevent the operation of a secondary market, the class
 members may lose again."
     In addition, CRG is making a donation of up to $4 million to the
 Automotive Safety Research Institute (ASRI) to help fund research into
 designing safer fuel systems.
     The settlement comes after nearly nine years of legal wrangling over GM
 pickups with sidesaddle gas tanks which class attorneys argued were defective
 because they were prone to explosions in side-impact collisions.  Initially,
 GM tried to make the transfer or sale of the certificates almost impossible.
 However, consumer groups including Public Citizen and the Center for Auto
 Safety, along with class counsel fought back in the courts, contending that
 consumers would get very little from a settlement in which the only thing they
 could do was buy a new vehicle, which many couldn't afford.
     In the final order and judgment signed by Judge Jack Marionneaux, he was
 particularly concerned that the certificates be freely transferable in order
 to create a successful secondary market.
     In the order he wrote:  "Because of the objections by some class members
 that they can only benefit from this Settlement by purchasing a new vehicle
 which they cannot afford, and related criticisms of the previous settlement,
 the Court was extremely focused on the importance of transferability of
 certificates.  The Court concludes, after a thorough examination of all
 evidence in the record, that the certificates will be freely transferable,
 which transferability, combined with market forces, will facilitate the
 creation of a secondary market and should yield an estimated minimum value per
 certificate of $100."
     Starting April 18, separate mailings are being sent by both GM Settlement
 Headquarters and the Lead Class Attorney to more than 5.8 million owners of
 1973-1991 full-size GM pickup trucks.  The GM mailing includes an "application
 for certificate"; enclosed with the Lead Class Attorney's mailing is the "cash
 alternative offer".
     The get a certificate to buy a new GM vehicle, recipients must fill out
 and sign the "application for certificate" in the GM envelope and mail it back
 to redemption headquarters.
     To exchange the certificate for $100 cash, recipients must sign both the
 "application for certificate" from the GM mailing, and must also sign the
 "cash alternative offer" that's in the Lead Class Attorney envelope.  Both
 forms must be enclosed in the business reply envelope provided and mailed back
 to redemption headquarters.
     Truck owners can also sell their certificates by telephone at
 1-800-317-4997 or online at www.CertificateRebates.com where settlement
 information is available.  But time is very short.  CRG's $100 offer is good
 for only 30 days from the date of the mailing.  After that, the offer amount
 could be reduced.
     By mid-May, dealers, leasing companies and fleets will be able to access a
 special Web site designed for them at www.CertificateDepot.com where
 certificates may be purchased in large quantities.
     CRG's cash alternative has the support of attorneys for the Class and
 consumer groups including Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety, the
 Ralph Nader-formed advocacy group.  CRG has worked closely with the nation's
 leading information, banking and fulfillment companies to ensure that the
 certificate transfer and exchange is handled smoothly and accurately.
 
     Houston-based Certificate Redemption Group, LLP, was formed in 1996 for
 the sole purpose of creating a secondary market for GM certificates in the GM
 pickup truck class settlement.  CRG is the exclusive secondary market maker
 endorsed and supported by class counsel for the GM Program 01-50, GM Full-Size
 Pickup Settlement.
 
     Certificate Plan Complex But Effective
 
                               How The Deal Works
 
     Coupons or certificates are rarely used to successfully settle
 class-action law suits for the benefit of the class members.  Defending
 companies prefer them because typically no more than 10 to 15 percent of the
 certificates ever get redeemed.  Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) of
 Houston, TX offers a consumer-friendly solution that could substantially
 increase the use of certificates while putting cash in the pockets of class
 members.  CRG is working closely with attorneys for class who have endorsed
 CRG and its solution.
 
     Who Will Get The Certificates?
     On April 18, General Motors mailed the Final Notice and Application for
 Certificate to 5.8 million eligible members of the class-action lawsuit.
 These are people and businesses that were owners-of-record as of 12:01 a.m.
 July 4, 1996 of GM 1973-1986 Model C/K series and 1987-1991 R/V series pickup
 trucks and chassis cabs.
     It is important for these truck owners to reply to the mailings so they
 can apply for the $1,000 Settlement Certificate.  They can use this
 certificate to either buy a vehicle or sell the certificate to CRG for $100
 cash.  Consumers have 30 days to take advantage of CRG's $100 offer.  After
 30 days, the cash offer may decrease.
 
     Who Can Use Them or Sell Them?
     The rules agreed upon by the courts and General Motors are stringent.
 Only the named owner of the truck, a spouse or immediate family members who
 live at the same address and can prove it by showing a driver's license are
 eligible to use the $1,000 certificates.  Someone who purchased the truck and
 can prove the sale with a title and registration also can use the certificate
 in its full amount.  In addition, there are provisions for fleet owners and
 government entities that own one or more trucks to use the certificates in
 their full amount.  Holders of transferred or exchanged certificates get
 substantially less.
     To get the full $1,000 value, truck owners must use the certificates to
 purchase a new GM vehicle (except Saturn and electric vehicles).  The
 certificates are not good for retail leased vehicles and under no
 circumstances can the certificates be redeemed for cash.  When these
 certificates are sold or transferred, the value drops drastically.  Their
 value to anyone but the original owner of the truck and immediate family or
 the subsequent owner of the truck is no more than $500, but most often only
 $250.
 
     What Are The Certificates Worth to Consumers?
 
 
     Consumer                              First 15 months    Final 18 months
 
     Original owner                                 $1,000               $500
     Eligible family member                         $1,000               $250
     Subsequent truckowner                          $1,000               $500
     Holder of Bearer Certificate*                     N/A               $250
 
     *During the final 18 months, the certificate becomes a "bearer
      certificate" and anyone who holds the consumer certificate can redeem it.
 
 
     What are the Certificates Worth to Third Parties?
 
     Third Party                          First 15 months    Final 18 months
 
     Third-party holder of certificate
      without other GM rebates                       $500                 NA
     Third-party holder of certificate with
      GMAC financing or GM credit card               $500                 NA
     Third-party holder of certificate with
      any available cash rebates                     $250                 NA
 
 
     What are the Certificates Worth to Fleets? (Three or more vehicles).
     Fleet offer only is good for 50 months.
 
     Fleet/government                       First 15 months   Final 35 months
 
     Original owner                                  $1,000              $250
     Subsequent owner                                $1,000              $250
 
                General Motors C/K and R/V Series pick-up trucks
                        in the Class as of July 4, 1996*
                          (according to court records)
 
     GM C/K and R/V series pick-up        GM C/K and R/V series pick-up truck
     truck counts by state                counts ranked by state
     alphabetically
 
     AA       26     MT        50,038     TX     610,432    MA        65,249
     AE      199     MX             4     CA     498,349    ID        60,462
     AK   22,349     NC       133,028     OH     221,455    WV        57,016
     AL  159,244     ND        41,617     PA     190,776    NJ        52,089
     AF      101     NE        71,353     MI     181,918    MD        51,819
     AR  108,850     NH        31,889     MO     175,878    MT        50,038
     AS        6     NJ        52,089     OK     171,532    SD        42,773
     AZ  137,655     NM        78,131     GA     165,305    ND        41,617
     CA  498,349     NV        35,520     IL     163,910    ME        40,858
     CO   99,612     NY       151,789     IN     163,595    CT        40,018
     CT   40,018     OC           732     FL     161,675    NV        35,520
     DC    1,355     OH       221,455     AL     159,244    WY        32,912
     DE   11,082     OK       171,532     TN     153,645    NH        31,889
     FL  161,675     OR        95,518     NY     151,789    AK        22,349
     GA  165,305     PA       190,776     WA     142,118    VT        14,981
     GU       11     PR            72     KY     138,007    DE        11,082
     HI   10,123     RI         9,467     AZ     137,655    HI        10,123
     IA  123,754     SC       101,017     NC     133,028    RI         9,467
     ID   60,462     SD        42,773     IA     123,754    DC         1,355
     IL  163,910     TN       153,645     LA     122,391    OC           732
     IN  163,595     TX       610,432     VA     122,283    Unknown      421
     KS  116,006     UT        80,200     MN     117,399    AE           199
     KY  138,007     VA       122,283     KS     116,006    AF           101
     LA  122,391     VI             7     WI     112,776    PR            72
     MA   65,249     VT        14,981     AR     108,850    AA            26
     MD   51,819     WA       142,118     MS     104,484    GU            11
     ME   40,858     WI       112,776     SC     101,017    VI             7
     MI  181,918     WV        57,016     CO      99,612    AS             6
     MN  117,399     WY        32,912     OR      95,518    MX             4
     MO  175,878     Unknown      421     UT      80,200    MP             1
     MP        1     TOTAL  5,838,342     NM      78,131    TOTAL  5,838,342
     MS  104,484                          NE      71,353
 
     * The above listings total 5,847,282 which is slightly higher than the
       actual number of vehicles registered (5,838,342) due to occasional
       overlapping registrations state to state.
 
 
              HISTORY OF THE GM PICKUP TRUCK CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT
 
     Like Ford and Chrysler, General Motors made pickups with gas tanks inside
 the cab in the 1960s.  Because of safety concerns about putting a gas tank
 next to passengers, the Big Three automakers all decided to relocate the tank
 outside the passenger compartment in the early 1970s -- but only GM opted to
 put the tank outside the frame.  The results of that decision have led to a
 25-year history of fiery accidents and heavily publicized court action.
 
     1973 -- GM started positioning two 20-gallon tanks outside the frame rail
             on nearly 10 million full-size pickups and cab-chassis trucks
             (pickups without beds).  The models with this design feature
             include the 1973-1986 Model C/K series and 1987-1991 R/V series
             pickup trucks and chassis cabs.  It was alleged that when these
             vehicles were involved in a side-impact crash, the unprotected gas
             tank was in danger of exploding.
 
     1992 -- The first widely publicized suit over this issue was filed by
             Thomas and Elaine Moseley of Snellville, Ga.  Their son, Shannon,
             died after his 1985 GMC pickup was struck by a drunk driver
             in 1989.  The Moseleys said that their son survived the crash but
             died from a fire caused by the improperly placed fuel tank.  The
             government began investigating the pickups' safety after petitions
             by two public interest groups, the Center for Auto Safety and
             Public Citizen, as well as a controversial "Dateline NBC" program
             in November 1992 that portrayed the trucks as fire hazards in
             crashes.  (NBC later retracted its story and apologized after GM
             revealed the network had used toy rocket engines to ignite fuel
             tank fires in crashes staged for broadcast.)
 
     1993 -- The jury in a state court in Atlanta found GM negligent in
             February and awarded $105.2 million, most of it as punitive
             damages, to the parents of Shannon.  GM appealed, and ultimately
             the case was settled in 1998 for an undisclosed amount.  GM also
             settled at least 35 other similar cases before they went to trial.
             In April 1993, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
             (NHTSA) called on GM to voluntarily recall the vehicles, but GM
             refused to comply and instead submitted a 50-page study supporting
             the safety of its truck.
 
     1994 -- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena headed up an
             investigation into the safety defect and found at least
             150 related fire deaths.  The investigation also found that GM had
             known about the defect since the early 1970s and had neither
             remedied it nor warned the public.  In response, GM committed
             $51 million to safety programs.  GM also was hit with class-action
             suits in virtually every state.  They were consolidated into a
             Multi-District Litigation affecting 49 states in Federal District
             Court in Philadelphia.  A separate state class action continued in
             Texas, where pickup-loving residents owned more than 1 million of
             the vehicles.
 
             Both class-action suits initially were settled by offering a
             $1,000 certificate good toward the purchase of a new GM truck or
             car to current owners of the pickups with sidesaddle tanks.
             Several state and local objectors along with Public Citizen and
             the Center for Auto Safety appealed the settlement because the
             Certificate plan benefited only those who could afford to buy a
             new vehicle and had no value to those who did not.  The Court of
             Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District of Texas agreed and
             overturned the Texas class-action settlement with harsh words for
             both sides.
 
             The court said:  "This suit was instituted because of the hazard
             posed by the side-saddle gasoline tank, yet this issue is given
             scant attention in the settlement agreement." Lawyers defending
             the identical settlement for the other 49 states were grilled by
             the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit a few days later.
             Like the Texas Court, the federal court questioned the fairness of
             the national class-action settlement and what it did for safety.
 
     1995 -- The Third Circuit reversed the trial court's approval of the
             nationwide settlement in a scathing and lengthy opinion that
             rebuked the court, counsel and GM. GM appealed to the U.S. Supreme
             Court, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and it went
             back before the federal trial court.
 
     1996 -- The case was refiled in Louisiana, combining the Texas and the
             national class action suits. A state court judge in Louisiana
             approved a new class-action settlement covering all GM truck
             owners.  The case is White et al v. General Motors Corp. et al.
             The settlement includes the same deal, but adds the stipulation
             that attorneys for the class-action suit will establish a fund to
             develop and implement a repair for the GM truck fuel system
             defect.  Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) was asked by the
             attorneys handling the settlement to implement the sales or
             transfer of the certificates to create a secondary market.  The
             purpose was to ensure that owners who don't want to buy a new
             truck would at least get enough cash to fix their old ones and get
             some benefit from the settlement.
 
     1997 - 2000 -- The Court of Appeals of the Louisiana First Circuit
                    overturns 1996 settlement on a technicality and sends it
                    back to the district court.
 
     1999 -- The NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System shows that more
             than 1,600 people have been killed in fiery crashes involving the
             GM pickups from February 1993 - December 1999.
 
     2001 -- The case continued to languish in the court system with objections
             to administrative details, but GM signed a final agreement
             April 12, 2001 and launched the required mailing April 18, 2001 to
             all 5.8 million eligible class members.  Also on April 18,
             attorneys for the Class launched a separate mailing to the class
             members that included an offer to buy certificates from consumers
             who had no use for them.  The program is being handled by
             Certificate Redemption Group (CRG), the market maker brought in by
             Class Counsel to increase the settlements value to class members
             who don't intend to buy a new vehicle.
 
 
                   The GM Class Action Settlement At a Glance
 
     What is it?
     A major class-action lawsuit against General Motors that claimed its
 "side-saddle" fuel tank design is defective, because the fuel tanks on certain
 model GM pickup trucks are placed outside the frame rails.  Attorneys for the
 class argued that the location of the tanks outside the frame rails makes them
 more susceptible to rupturing and igniting in a collision.  GM has paid out
 nearly half a billion dollars in settlements.
     GM's 1973-86 Full-Size "C" and "K" series, and 1987-91 "R" and "V" series
 Chevrolet and GMC models involved:
 
     GM 1973-1986 "C" and "K" full-size pickup trucks or chassis cab models
     including Chevrolet C10, C20, C30, K10, K20, K30; and GMC Truck C1500,
     C2500, C3500, K1500, K2500, K3500 models.
 
     In addition, the following GM 1987-1991 full-size pickup truck or chassis
     cab models including Chevrolet R10, R20, R30, R2500, R3500, V10, V20, V30,
     V2500, V3500 and GMC R1500, R2500, R3500, V1500, V2500, V3500.
 
     Consumers Affected:
     Nearly 10 million of the trucks were built; 5.8 million people who still
 owned these trucks as of July 4, 1996 are eligible for compensation.
 
     Number of deaths:
     According to the Center for Auto Safety ( www.autosafety.org ), in the
 six years from February 1, 1993 to Dec. 31, 1999, there have been 1,600 deaths
 linked to these model trucks.  This number is based on computations derived
 from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's (NHTSA)
 Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
 
     First Individual Law Suits:
     Thomas and Elaine Moseley of Snellville, GA filed the first high-profile
 suit in 1992 after their son died in a fire when his GM pickup was hit by a
 drunk driver in 1989.  The Moseleys won the case and were awarded
 $104.2 million, but GM appealed and ultimately the case was settled, as were
 35 other similar cases.  GM was then hit by class action suits in nearly every
 state.
 
     First Class Action Law Suits:
     The various class action suits were consolidated in a Multi-District
 Litigation in Federal District Court in Philadelphia in 1994.  A separate
 Class Action continued in Texas.  Both were eventually settled by GM which
 promised to give all 5.8 million class members a $1,000 certificate good
 toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle.  Several states and consumer groups
 objected on the grounds that only class members who purchase a new GM vehicle
 would benefit and others would get nothing.  They appealed the settlement to
 the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District of Texas, which
 overturned it, along with the same settlement for the Multi-District
 Litigation.  GM then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear
 the case.  Both class actions were then combined and refiled in Louisiana
 under "White et al v. General Motors Corporation."
 
     Court Jurisdiction for "White et al v. General Motors":
     18th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Iberville, Plaquemine,
     Louisiana.  Presiding Judge: Jack T. Marionneaux.
 
     Plaintiffs:
     Joseph A. White III, John L. Monson, and Anthony O. Cashiola, Sr.
 
     Lead attorneys:
     Lead Class Counsel: Don Barrett, Barrett Law Offices, Lexington, MS
     (Contact: 662-834-2376)
 
     For General Motors Corporation, Detroit: Lee A. Schutzman. (Contact: Jay
     Cooney, 313-665-3149)
 
     Chronology of Latest Settlement
     Dec. 19, 1996 -- Iberville Parish District Court approves a new class
                      action settlement covering all GM truck owners.
 
     June 29, 1998 -- Court of Appeals of the Louisiana First Circuit overturns
                      1996 settlement on a technicality and sends it back to
                      the district court.
 
     Jan. 20, 1999 -- District court signs an order supporting the decision
                      and judgment.
 
     April 1, 1999 -- GM and Class Counsel agree to a revised settlement plan.
 
     June 1999     -- District Court approves the agreement.
 
     July 1999     -- GM appeals the part of the decision that allows for CRG
                      or its affiliated companies to contact class members by
                      including its cash offer in the GM mailing to class
                      members.
 
     Nov. 17, 2000 -- Court reaffirms agreement.  GM appeals, contending
                      administrative procedural errors.
 
     Jan. 16, 2001 -- First Circuit Court of Appeals, State of Louisiana
                      reaffirms several administrative details of the
                      settlement agreement.
 
     April 18, 2001 -- GM and the Lead Class Attorney each send out letters to
                       the 5.8 million class members announcing their
                       respective settlement offers.
 
     The Settlement:
     In addition to the nearly $500 million GM has paid in settlements, GM also
 agreed to provide a $1,000 certificate to each of the 5.8 million consumers
 involved in this case.  GM was ordered to mail a letter to each member of the
 class advising them of the settlement and explaining how to get their
 certificate.
     Further, GM agreed that the certificates will be transferable so consumers
 can use them or give or sell them to a family member or friend.  Consumers can
 also sell the certificates to Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) for $100
 cash.
 
     The Cash Offer of Certificate Redemption Group (CRG):
     Focus groups conducted by Class Counsel revealed that many of the
 5.8 million consumers involved will not be in a position or don't want to
 purchase a new $20-$30,000 car or truck, even with the certificates.  For
 them, CRG's $100 cash offer may be the only viable alternative.
 
     About Certificate Redemption Group, LLP:
     Houston-based Certificate Redemption Group, LLP, was formed in 1996 for
 the sole purpose of creating a secondary market for GM certificates in the GM
 pickup truck class settlement.  CRG is the exclusive secondary market-maker
 endorsed and supported by class counsel for the GM Program 01-50, GM Full-Size
 Pickup Settlement.  Its Chairman and CEO is James R. Dawley.
 
     Additional Information:
     www.CertificateRebates.com
     www.consumerlawpage.com/article/gm_pickup_settlement.shtml
     www.citizen.org/autosafe.htm
     www.autosafety.org
 
 

SOURCE Certificate Redemption Group, LLP
    HOUSTON, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of one of the largest automotive
 class action settlements in history, nearly six million owners of GM pickup
 trucks will receive a letter from General Motors over the next few days
 offering them a certificate they can use toward the purchase of a new GM
 vehicle.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010419/HSTH009-a
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010419/HSTH009-b
              http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010419/HSTH009-c )
     At the same time, class members should watch their mail for a letter from
 the attorneys who represented them in the lawsuit.  This letter will include a
 groundbreaking offer from Houston-based Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) to
 pay class members $100 for their certificates if they are not in the market
 for a new car or truck.
     The unusual cash offer is endorsed by the attorneys representing the class
 members and several consumer organizations.  It was designed to create a
 secondary market for the certificates to ensure that all class members
 actually get something of value as part of the settlement.
     "Class action settlements too often ignore the little guys and they get
 nothing from these multi-million dollar settlements," says James R. Dawley,
 chairman and CEO of CRG.
     "This is the first attempt in an automotive class-action lawsuit of this
 size to put money in the hands of a significant number of class members.  In
 previous certificate settlements, typically no more than 10 percent of the
 class members have redeemed their certificates.  Apparently, that is what GM
 is counting on to keep their exposure down in this lawsuit.  If one million
 truck owners -- who aren't going to use their certificates anyway -- accept
 our cash offer, we could return $75-$100 million to the class.  If GM
 continues to try and prevent the operation of a secondary market, the class
 members may lose again."
     In addition, CRG is making a donation of up to $4 million to the
 Automotive Safety Research Institute (ASRI) to help fund research into
 designing safer fuel systems.
     The settlement comes after nearly nine years of legal wrangling over GM
 pickups with sidesaddle gas tanks which class attorneys argued were defective
 because they were prone to explosions in side-impact collisions.  Initially,
 GM tried to make the transfer or sale of the certificates almost impossible.
 However, consumer groups including Public Citizen and the Center for Auto
 Safety, along with class counsel fought back in the courts, contending that
 consumers would get very little from a settlement in which the only thing they
 could do was buy a new vehicle, which many couldn't afford.
     In the final order and judgment signed by Judge Jack Marionneaux, he was
 particularly concerned that the certificates be freely transferable in order
 to create a successful secondary market.
     In the order he wrote:  "Because of the objections by some class members
 that they can only benefit from this Settlement by purchasing a new vehicle
 which they cannot afford, and related criticisms of the previous settlement,
 the Court was extremely focused on the importance of transferability of
 certificates.  The Court concludes, after a thorough examination of all
 evidence in the record, that the certificates will be freely transferable,
 which transferability, combined with market forces, will facilitate the
 creation of a secondary market and should yield an estimated minimum value per
 certificate of $100."
     Starting April 18, separate mailings are being sent by both GM Settlement
 Headquarters and the Lead Class Attorney to more than 5.8 million owners of
 1973-1991 full-size GM pickup trucks.  The GM mailing includes an "application
 for certificate"; enclosed with the Lead Class Attorney's mailing is the "cash
 alternative offer".
     The get a certificate to buy a new GM vehicle, recipients must fill out
 and sign the "application for certificate" in the GM envelope and mail it back
 to redemption headquarters.
     To exchange the certificate for $100 cash, recipients must sign both the
 "application for certificate" from the GM mailing, and must also sign the
 "cash alternative offer" that's in the Lead Class Attorney envelope.  Both
 forms must be enclosed in the business reply envelope provided and mailed back
 to redemption headquarters.
     Truck owners can also sell their certificates by telephone at
 1-800-317-4997 or online at www.CertificateRebates.com where settlement
 information is available.  But time is very short.  CRG's $100 offer is good
 for only 30 days from the date of the mailing.  After that, the offer amount
 could be reduced.
     By mid-May, dealers, leasing companies and fleets will be able to access a
 special Web site designed for them at www.CertificateDepot.com where
 certificates may be purchased in large quantities.
     CRG's cash alternative has the support of attorneys for the Class and
 consumer groups including Public Citizen and the Center for Auto Safety, the
 Ralph Nader-formed advocacy group.  CRG has worked closely with the nation's
 leading information, banking and fulfillment companies to ensure that the
 certificate transfer and exchange is handled smoothly and accurately.
 
     Houston-based Certificate Redemption Group, LLP, was formed in 1996 for
 the sole purpose of creating a secondary market for GM certificates in the GM
 pickup truck class settlement.  CRG is the exclusive secondary market maker
 endorsed and supported by class counsel for the GM Program 01-50, GM Full-Size
 Pickup Settlement.
 
     Certificate Plan Complex But Effective
 
                               How The Deal Works
 
     Coupons or certificates are rarely used to successfully settle
 class-action law suits for the benefit of the class members.  Defending
 companies prefer them because typically no more than 10 to 15 percent of the
 certificates ever get redeemed.  Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) of
 Houston, TX offers a consumer-friendly solution that could substantially
 increase the use of certificates while putting cash in the pockets of class
 members.  CRG is working closely with attorneys for class who have endorsed
 CRG and its solution.
 
     Who Will Get The Certificates?
     On April 18, General Motors mailed the Final Notice and Application for
 Certificate to 5.8 million eligible members of the class-action lawsuit.
 These are people and businesses that were owners-of-record as of 12:01 a.m.
 July 4, 1996 of GM 1973-1986 Model C/K series and 1987-1991 R/V series pickup
 trucks and chassis cabs.
     It is important for these truck owners to reply to the mailings so they
 can apply for the $1,000 Settlement Certificate.  They can use this
 certificate to either buy a vehicle or sell the certificate to CRG for $100
 cash.  Consumers have 30 days to take advantage of CRG's $100 offer.  After
 30 days, the cash offer may decrease.
 
     Who Can Use Them or Sell Them?
     The rules agreed upon by the courts and General Motors are stringent.
 Only the named owner of the truck, a spouse or immediate family members who
 live at the same address and can prove it by showing a driver's license are
 eligible to use the $1,000 certificates.  Someone who purchased the truck and
 can prove the sale with a title and registration also can use the certificate
 in its full amount.  In addition, there are provisions for fleet owners and
 government entities that own one or more trucks to use the certificates in
 their full amount.  Holders of transferred or exchanged certificates get
 substantially less.
     To get the full $1,000 value, truck owners must use the certificates to
 purchase a new GM vehicle (except Saturn and electric vehicles).  The
 certificates are not good for retail leased vehicles and under no
 circumstances can the certificates be redeemed for cash.  When these
 certificates are sold or transferred, the value drops drastically.  Their
 value to anyone but the original owner of the truck and immediate family or
 the subsequent owner of the truck is no more than $500, but most often only
 $250.
 
     What Are The Certificates Worth to Consumers?
 
 
     Consumer                              First 15 months    Final 18 months
 
     Original owner                                 $1,000               $500
     Eligible family member                         $1,000               $250
     Subsequent truckowner                          $1,000               $500
     Holder of Bearer Certificate*                     N/A               $250
 
     *During the final 18 months, the certificate becomes a "bearer
      certificate" and anyone who holds the consumer certificate can redeem it.
 
 
     What are the Certificates Worth to Third Parties?
 
     Third Party                          First 15 months    Final 18 months
 
     Third-party holder of certificate
      without other GM rebates                       $500                 NA
     Third-party holder of certificate with
      GMAC financing or GM credit card               $500                 NA
     Third-party holder of certificate with
      any available cash rebates                     $250                 NA
 
 
     What are the Certificates Worth to Fleets? (Three or more vehicles).
     Fleet offer only is good for 50 months.
 
     Fleet/government                       First 15 months   Final 35 months
 
     Original owner                                  $1,000              $250
     Subsequent owner                                $1,000              $250
 
                General Motors C/K and R/V Series pick-up trucks
                        in the Class as of July 4, 1996*
                          (according to court records)
 
     GM C/K and R/V series pick-up        GM C/K and R/V series pick-up truck
     truck counts by state                counts ranked by state
     alphabetically
 
     AA       26     MT        50,038     TX     610,432    MA        65,249
     AE      199     MX             4     CA     498,349    ID        60,462
     AK   22,349     NC       133,028     OH     221,455    WV        57,016
     AL  159,244     ND        41,617     PA     190,776    NJ        52,089
     AF      101     NE        71,353     MI     181,918    MD        51,819
     AR  108,850     NH        31,889     MO     175,878    MT        50,038
     AS        6     NJ        52,089     OK     171,532    SD        42,773
     AZ  137,655     NM        78,131     GA     165,305    ND        41,617
     CA  498,349     NV        35,520     IL     163,910    ME        40,858
     CO   99,612     NY       151,789     IN     163,595    CT        40,018
     CT   40,018     OC           732     FL     161,675    NV        35,520
     DC    1,355     OH       221,455     AL     159,244    WY        32,912
     DE   11,082     OK       171,532     TN     153,645    NH        31,889
     FL  161,675     OR        95,518     NY     151,789    AK        22,349
     GA  165,305     PA       190,776     WA     142,118    VT        14,981
     GU       11     PR            72     KY     138,007    DE        11,082
     HI   10,123     RI         9,467     AZ     137,655    HI        10,123
     IA  123,754     SC       101,017     NC     133,028    RI         9,467
     ID   60,462     SD        42,773     IA     123,754    DC         1,355
     IL  163,910     TN       153,645     LA     122,391    OC           732
     IN  163,595     TX       610,432     VA     122,283    Unknown      421
     KS  116,006     UT        80,200     MN     117,399    AE           199
     KY  138,007     VA       122,283     KS     116,006    AF           101
     LA  122,391     VI             7     WI     112,776    PR            72
     MA   65,249     VT        14,981     AR     108,850    AA            26
     MD   51,819     WA       142,118     MS     104,484    GU            11
     ME   40,858     WI       112,776     SC     101,017    VI             7
     MI  181,918     WV        57,016     CO      99,612    AS             6
     MN  117,399     WY        32,912     OR      95,518    MX             4
     MO  175,878     Unknown      421     UT      80,200    MP             1
     MP        1     TOTAL  5,838,342     NM      78,131    TOTAL  5,838,342
     MS  104,484                          NE      71,353
 
     * The above listings total 5,847,282 which is slightly higher than the
       actual number of vehicles registered (5,838,342) due to occasional
       overlapping registrations state to state.
 
 
              HISTORY OF THE GM PICKUP TRUCK CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT
 
     Like Ford and Chrysler, General Motors made pickups with gas tanks inside
 the cab in the 1960s.  Because of safety concerns about putting a gas tank
 next to passengers, the Big Three automakers all decided to relocate the tank
 outside the passenger compartment in the early 1970s -- but only GM opted to
 put the tank outside the frame.  The results of that decision have led to a
 25-year history of fiery accidents and heavily publicized court action.
 
     1973 -- GM started positioning two 20-gallon tanks outside the frame rail
             on nearly 10 million full-size pickups and cab-chassis trucks
             (pickups without beds).  The models with this design feature
             include the 1973-1986 Model C/K series and 1987-1991 R/V series
             pickup trucks and chassis cabs.  It was alleged that when these
             vehicles were involved in a side-impact crash, the unprotected gas
             tank was in danger of exploding.
 
     1992 -- The first widely publicized suit over this issue was filed by
             Thomas and Elaine Moseley of Snellville, Ga.  Their son, Shannon,
             died after his 1985 GMC pickup was struck by a drunk driver
             in 1989.  The Moseleys said that their son survived the crash but
             died from a fire caused by the improperly placed fuel tank.  The
             government began investigating the pickups' safety after petitions
             by two public interest groups, the Center for Auto Safety and
             Public Citizen, as well as a controversial "Dateline NBC" program
             in November 1992 that portrayed the trucks as fire hazards in
             crashes.  (NBC later retracted its story and apologized after GM
             revealed the network had used toy rocket engines to ignite fuel
             tank fires in crashes staged for broadcast.)
 
     1993 -- The jury in a state court in Atlanta found GM negligent in
             February and awarded $105.2 million, most of it as punitive
             damages, to the parents of Shannon.  GM appealed, and ultimately
             the case was settled in 1998 for an undisclosed amount.  GM also
             settled at least 35 other similar cases before they went to trial.
             In April 1993, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
             (NHTSA) called on GM to voluntarily recall the vehicles, but GM
             refused to comply and instead submitted a 50-page study supporting
             the safety of its truck.
 
     1994 -- U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena headed up an
             investigation into the safety defect and found at least
             150 related fire deaths.  The investigation also found that GM had
             known about the defect since the early 1970s and had neither
             remedied it nor warned the public.  In response, GM committed
             $51 million to safety programs.  GM also was hit with class-action
             suits in virtually every state.  They were consolidated into a
             Multi-District Litigation affecting 49 states in Federal District
             Court in Philadelphia.  A separate state class action continued in
             Texas, where pickup-loving residents owned more than 1 million of
             the vehicles.
 
             Both class-action suits initially were settled by offering a
             $1,000 certificate good toward the purchase of a new GM truck or
             car to current owners of the pickups with sidesaddle tanks.
             Several state and local objectors along with Public Citizen and
             the Center for Auto Safety appealed the settlement because the
             Certificate plan benefited only those who could afford to buy a
             new vehicle and had no value to those who did not.  The Court of
             Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District of Texas agreed and
             overturned the Texas class-action settlement with harsh words for
             both sides.
 
             The court said:  "This suit was instituted because of the hazard
             posed by the side-saddle gasoline tank, yet this issue is given
             scant attention in the settlement agreement." Lawyers defending
             the identical settlement for the other 49 states were grilled by
             the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit a few days later.
             Like the Texas Court, the federal court questioned the fairness of
             the national class-action settlement and what it did for safety.
 
     1995 -- The Third Circuit reversed the trial court's approval of the
             nationwide settlement in a scathing and lengthy opinion that
             rebuked the court, counsel and GM. GM appealed to the U.S. Supreme
             Court, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and it went
             back before the federal trial court.
 
     1996 -- The case was refiled in Louisiana, combining the Texas and the
             national class action suits. A state court judge in Louisiana
             approved a new class-action settlement covering all GM truck
             owners.  The case is White et al v. General Motors Corp. et al.
             The settlement includes the same deal, but adds the stipulation
             that attorneys for the class-action suit will establish a fund to
             develop and implement a repair for the GM truck fuel system
             defect.  Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) was asked by the
             attorneys handling the settlement to implement the sales or
             transfer of the certificates to create a secondary market.  The
             purpose was to ensure that owners who don't want to buy a new
             truck would at least get enough cash to fix their old ones and get
             some benefit from the settlement.
 
     1997 - 2000 -- The Court of Appeals of the Louisiana First Circuit
                    overturns 1996 settlement on a technicality and sends it
                    back to the district court.
 
     1999 -- The NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System shows that more
             than 1,600 people have been killed in fiery crashes involving the
             GM pickups from February 1993 - December 1999.
 
     2001 -- The case continued to languish in the court system with objections
             to administrative details, but GM signed a final agreement
             April 12, 2001 and launched the required mailing April 18, 2001 to
             all 5.8 million eligible class members.  Also on April 18,
             attorneys for the Class launched a separate mailing to the class
             members that included an offer to buy certificates from consumers
             who had no use for them.  The program is being handled by
             Certificate Redemption Group (CRG), the market maker brought in by
             Class Counsel to increase the settlements value to class members
             who don't intend to buy a new vehicle.
 
 
                   The GM Class Action Settlement At a Glance
 
     What is it?
     A major class-action lawsuit against General Motors that claimed its
 "side-saddle" fuel tank design is defective, because the fuel tanks on certain
 model GM pickup trucks are placed outside the frame rails.  Attorneys for the
 class argued that the location of the tanks outside the frame rails makes them
 more susceptible to rupturing and igniting in a collision.  GM has paid out
 nearly half a billion dollars in settlements.
     GM's 1973-86 Full-Size "C" and "K" series, and 1987-91 "R" and "V" series
 Chevrolet and GMC models involved:
 
     GM 1973-1986 "C" and "K" full-size pickup trucks or chassis cab models
     including Chevrolet C10, C20, C30, K10, K20, K30; and GMC Truck C1500,
     C2500, C3500, K1500, K2500, K3500 models.
 
     In addition, the following GM 1987-1991 full-size pickup truck or chassis
     cab models including Chevrolet R10, R20, R30, R2500, R3500, V10, V20, V30,
     V2500, V3500 and GMC R1500, R2500, R3500, V1500, V2500, V3500.
 
     Consumers Affected:
     Nearly 10 million of the trucks were built; 5.8 million people who still
 owned these trucks as of July 4, 1996 are eligible for compensation.
 
     Number of deaths:
     According to the Center for Auto Safety ( www.autosafety.org ), in the
 six years from February 1, 1993 to Dec. 31, 1999, there have been 1,600 deaths
 linked to these model trucks.  This number is based on computations derived
 from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's (NHTSA)
 Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
 
     First Individual Law Suits:
     Thomas and Elaine Moseley of Snellville, GA filed the first high-profile
 suit in 1992 after their son died in a fire when his GM pickup was hit by a
 drunk driver in 1989.  The Moseleys won the case and were awarded
 $104.2 million, but GM appealed and ultimately the case was settled, as were
 35 other similar cases.  GM was then hit by class action suits in nearly every
 state.
 
     First Class Action Law Suits:
     The various class action suits were consolidated in a Multi-District
 Litigation in Federal District Court in Philadelphia in 1994.  A separate
 Class Action continued in Texas.  Both were eventually settled by GM which
 promised to give all 5.8 million class members a $1,000 certificate good
 toward the purchase of a new GM vehicle.  Several states and consumer groups
 objected on the grounds that only class members who purchase a new GM vehicle
 would benefit and others would get nothing.  They appealed the settlement to
 the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Appellate District of Texas, which
 overturned it, along with the same settlement for the Multi-District
 Litigation.  GM then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear
 the case.  Both class actions were then combined and refiled in Louisiana
 under "White et al v. General Motors Corporation."
 
     Court Jurisdiction for "White et al v. General Motors":
     18th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Iberville, Plaquemine,
     Louisiana.  Presiding Judge: Jack T. Marionneaux.
 
     Plaintiffs:
     Joseph A. White III, John L. Monson, and Anthony O. Cashiola, Sr.
 
     Lead attorneys:
     Lead Class Counsel: Don Barrett, Barrett Law Offices, Lexington, MS
     (Contact: 662-834-2376)
 
     For General Motors Corporation, Detroit: Lee A. Schutzman. (Contact: Jay
     Cooney, 313-665-3149)
 
     Chronology of Latest Settlement
     Dec. 19, 1996 -- Iberville Parish District Court approves a new class
                      action settlement covering all GM truck owners.
 
     June 29, 1998 -- Court of Appeals of the Louisiana First Circuit overturns
                      1996 settlement on a technicality and sends it back to
                      the district court.
 
     Jan. 20, 1999 -- District court signs an order supporting the decision
                      and judgment.
 
     April 1, 1999 -- GM and Class Counsel agree to a revised settlement plan.
 
     June 1999     -- District Court approves the agreement.
 
     July 1999     -- GM appeals the part of the decision that allows for CRG
                      or its affiliated companies to contact class members by
                      including its cash offer in the GM mailing to class
                      members.
 
     Nov. 17, 2000 -- Court reaffirms agreement.  GM appeals, contending
                      administrative procedural errors.
 
     Jan. 16, 2001 -- First Circuit Court of Appeals, State of Louisiana
                      reaffirms several administrative details of the
                      settlement agreement.
 
     April 18, 2001 -- GM and the Lead Class Attorney each send out letters to
                       the 5.8 million class members announcing their
                       respective settlement offers.
 
     The Settlement:
     In addition to the nearly $500 million GM has paid in settlements, GM also
 agreed to provide a $1,000 certificate to each of the 5.8 million consumers
 involved in this case.  GM was ordered to mail a letter to each member of the
 class advising them of the settlement and explaining how to get their
 certificate.
     Further, GM agreed that the certificates will be transferable so consumers
 can use them or give or sell them to a family member or friend.  Consumers can
 also sell the certificates to Certificate Redemption Group (CRG) for $100
 cash.
 
     The Cash Offer of Certificate Redemption Group (CRG):
     Focus groups conducted by Class Counsel revealed that many of the
 5.8 million consumers involved will not be in a position or don't want to
 purchase a new $20-$30,000 car or truck, even with the certificates.  For
 them, CRG's $100 cash offer may be the only viable alternative.
 
     About Certificate Redemption Group, LLP:
     Houston-based Certificate Redemption Group, LLP, was formed in 1996 for
 the sole purpose of creating a secondary market for GM certificates in the GM
 pickup truck class settlement.  CRG is the exclusive secondary market-maker
 endorsed and supported by class counsel for the GM Program 01-50, GM Full-Size
 Pickup Settlement.  Its Chairman and CEO is James R. Dawley.
 
     Additional Information:
     www.CertificateRebates.com
     www.consumerlawpage.com/article/gm_pickup_settlement.shtml
     www.citizen.org/autosafe.htm
     www.autosafety.org
 
 SOURCE  Certificate Redemption Group, LLP