General Motors LLC has been hit with a new class action lawsuit over claims that it knew about a dangerous ignition switch defect in some of its vehicles since at least 2004, but failed to address the problem or recall the vehicles until earlier this year.
The GM ignition switch recall includes more than 1.6 million vehicles that may contain a flaw that allows the car’s key to unintentionally move or switch to the “accessory” or “off” position, turning the engine off and causing the airbags to fail to deploy in a crash. The defect has been linked to as many as 300 deaths.
The first class action lawsuit to be filed over GM ignition switch recall was on March 14 (Daryl Brandt, et al. v. General Motors LLC). The latest GM ignition switch class action lawsuit was filed on March 19.
The lead plaintiff in the new GM class action lawsuit, Adnan Jawad, who owns a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, accuses GM of “actively” covering up the GM ignition switch problems “while touting vehicle safety to its prospective customers — the class members. All the while, GM had information that the defective GM vehicles were involved in crashes leading to fatalities, and did nothing to correct the problems or even to warn the public.
The GM ignition switch class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of more than 1 million consumers who, as of Feb. 7, owned or leased the following vehicles affected by the GM ignition switch recall:
2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt
2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit
2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
2003-2007 Saturn Ion
2007 Pontiac G5
2007 Saturn Sky
They were all built on compact General Motors platforms, and in the case of the Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalt, are the subject of a recall notice filed Feb. 7 2014 that notified owners that “the ignition switch torque performance may not meet General Motors’ specification,” and if so, combined with a “jarring event” or the keyring being too heavy, it may move from the on position and result in an airbag failure “increasing the potential for occupant injury.”
However, Jawad’s GM ignition switch class action lawsuit decries the recommendation for owners, which is to take any extraneous items off of their keychains and further questions the fact that the automaker has yet to explain what fixes it will provide to vehicle owners. Further, “GM should have taken swift and corrective action to cure the defect ten years ago when it learned of the problem.”
Instead, there are now at least one million vehicles that have the GM ignition switch defect, according to the class action lawsuit citing the company’s own figures on the Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Pursuit and Solstice as well as the Saturn Ion and Saturn Sky. Indeed, the notice that the company submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration indicates internal knowledge of the issues for roughly a decade with no action until this year.
The GM recall class action lawsuit seeks damages based on the design defects and negligence, as well as the lost value of the vehicles due to public awareness of the risks involved with their operation. Further, Jawad and the rest of the putative class are seeking to have a judge grant injunctive relief of:
1. Repairs performed at General Motors’ expense to repair the ignition switch;
2. Warranty extensions for the ignition system; and
3. A clear notice of the recall to each owner that indicates what the exact problem is and how it will be fixed.
Jawad is represented by class action lawsuit lawyer Kassem M. Dakhlallah of At Law Group PLLC.
The General Motors Airbag Failure Class Action Lawsuit is Adnan Jawad, et al. v. General Motors LLC, Case No. 14-cv-11151, U.S District Court, Eastern District of Michigan.
If you owned or a leased a Chevy Cobalt, Pontiac, HHR, or Saturn, you may be eligible to join a free class action lawsuit over the GM ignition switch recall and pursue compensation for loss of vehicle value and/or injuries. Submit your claim at the GM Ignition Switch Recall Class Action Lawsuit Investigation.
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