General Motors is facing class-action lawsuits in several parts of the United States over faulty ignition switches in 1.6 million small cars worldwide. About 235,000 of those cars were sold In Canada, leading to two separate lawsuits in addition to the other suits it already faces in the United States.
Driving reports Merchant Law Group LLP filed claims against GM in Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The suits claim GM misled owners about safety issues by hiding its knowledge about the potentially fatal ignition problems.
Transport Canada is also investigating if a faulty ignition switch in a GM vehicle was responsible for a fatal crash in Quebec last June, but a spokesperson declined to comment on whether the Canadian government plans to investigate GM’s actions in regards to the recall or not.
“As this matter is currently under investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment,” Roxane Marchand, a spokeswoman for Transport Canada said in an emailed statement to Driving.
Merchant law group is representing Christina Duquette and Jessica Schaafsma in the lawsuits, who say they “now drive their vehicles with extreme caution, fearing that they could experience a sudden, unintended engine shutdown, and risk bodily harm.” Duquette claims she experienced two engine shutdowns in her 2006 Pontiac G5 while driving between 2011 and 2013.
“General Motors had a duty to design, manufacture, and market vehicles that were reasonably safe for their intended uses, and to provide true and accurate information to the public,” Merchant’s court filing said.