GM Class Actions Lawsuits Ignite After Recent Ignition System Recalls

On March 28th, General Motors (GM) recalled an additional 971,000 vehicles. This is in addition to the 1.6 million cars that were already recalled due to ignition systems issues. This is quickly shaping up to be one of the biggest cover-ups in U.S. automotive history, and the GM recall has opened the doors to numerous class action lawsuits across the country.

Specifically, the lawsuits relate to the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, 2005-2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, and 2007 Saturn Sky. The possible number of plaintiffs for the class action lawsuits is expected to reach about 2.6 million. That’s roughly the number of cars that are supposedly impacted by the defective ignition system.

The defective ignition system in question can lead to the loss of engine power and the disabling of power steering, airbags, and even brakes. These defects have directly lead to at least 13 deaths and numerous other injury accidents.

GM officials are in hot water over allegations that they knew about this defective ignition switch system for nearly a decade and still installed them and sold them to millions of innocent consumers. In addition, they took steps to cover up these defects as early as 2006 and failed to disclose this critical safety information to the public-thus endangering the lives of everyone on the road. Rather than correcting the ignition defect, GM officials denied the defects and ignored customer complaints over that decade.

After years of dodging the issue, GM is once again trying to dodge the responsibility for their ignition defect issues-at least those issues before 2009. In 2009, GM filed bankruptcy and went through restructuring-making them a technically new company. This week, GM has filed two motions with the courts, asking that the “new” GM be protected from the wrongdoings of the “old” GM. They are relying on their bankruptcy, bailout, and restructuring to claim protection for any errors that the company made prior to 2009.

The Justice Department is currently investigating whether GM committed bankruptcy fraud by hiding the ignition defects in 2009 when they filed for bankruptcy.