Yes, it was bound to happen: with the revelation that General Motors may have known about ignition switch problems on several of its vehicles since 2001, the first shots have been fired in the courtroom. In this case, lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Corpus Christi, TX seeking $6–10 billion for the loss of value of the vehicles, which includes models under the Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, and Opel marques.
Bob Hilliard, one of the lawyers involved in the lawsuit, told Bloomberg, “These vehicles, all they have to do is get on the road for this defect to manifest. This is a true safety defect.”
Hilliard represents a family in Texas and two families in Wisconsin, all of whom had fatal accidents in Chevrolet Cobalts. He said that despite General Motors’ bankruptcy reorganization that generally protects companies from new claims, the New GM shouldn’t be shielded considering the full extent of the ignition woes weren’t previously disclosed.
So far, twelve deaths have been reported due to the faulty switch, according to General Motors. However, the automaker continues to review the data as it works with the government to determine why a recall didn’t take place sooner. The NHTSA also has questions to answer regarding why it didn’t pursue an inquiry upon receiving information of a potential problem.
“GM is focused now on ensuring the safety and peace of mind of our customers involved in the recall,” company representative Greg Martin told Bloomberg.