Detroit automaker GM is potentially facing class action litigation over an ignition switch issue that allegedly led to several fatalities, placed drivers at risk, and de-valued the affected models. The first of the proposed class action lawsuits was filed in Texas on March 14th, 2014. The lawsuit, filed by Daryl and Maria Brandt, notes that GM first knew of the ignition switch problem in their vehicles in 2001 and alleges that GM did not do enough to resolved the issue thereby putting drivers of affected vehicles at risk and creating “unreasonably dangerous” conditions.
In an interview in February, CEO Mary Barra, declined to say whether or not GM would accept liability for the faulty ignition switches.
The ignition switch recall affected more than 1.37 million cars and included the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, 2003-2007 Saturn Ion, 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, the 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, and the 2007 Saturn Sky. Switches to replace those in recalled models will be received by dealers on April 7th. In addition to replacement ignition switches, GM has also offered $500 towards the purchase of a new GM vehicle to owners of recalled vehicles.