The Wall Street Journal is alleging that General Motors ordered half a million replacement ignition switches about two months before federal safety regulators were alerted about issues that led to a recall of 2.6 million vehicles.
This allegation is based on emails between a contract worker for GM and Delphi Automotive that show the automaker placed an order for 500,000 switches on December 18, 2013. GM’s recall was not announced until two months later.
“This is simply mind-blowing in its raw evilness,” said the lead counsel for the personal injury and wrongful death plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits against GM, Bob Hilliard. “GM should have notified its customers immediately to take all weight off of their keychains. By the time GM actually ordered these parts, it had to have already spent months making the decision to place the order.”
GM has already been criticized for waiting 11 years before addressing the faulty ignition switch issue to the American public. Currently, 61 claims (30 deaths and 31 injuries) have been deemed eligible for compensation, with possibly more along the way. And just last week, a Manhattan federal judge set January 11, 2016 as the date for the first trial against General Motors over a series of safety issues that include the defective ignition switch and other things related to that, including resale value.