In the continuing story on defective ignition switches, General Motors has been dealt another lawsuit demanding that the company be held liable for knowing about and concealing the problem before 2009. But this one is with a twist.
According to Automotive News, “GM is a different legal entity than the one that filed for bankruptcy protection and reorganized in 2009. The so-called new GM is not responsible under the terms of its bankruptcy for legal claims relating to incidents that took place before July 2009. Those claims must be brought against what remains of the ‘old’ or pre-bankruptcy GM.”
The new lawsuit suggests that the entity that was General Motors before 2009 should be able to be sued “because of the active concealment by Old GM and GM,” pointing out that “GM was responsible for reporting to the federal government any safety-related problems for cars made before its bankruptcy.”
General Motors announced a recall for the ignition switches in February, but since then it has been revealed that GM may have been familiar with the issue as far back as 2001 but continued to use the mechanism through 2007. Meanwhile, the NHTSA has been forced to answer why it didn’t force GM to recall affected cars after an investigator mentioned the problem in a crash investigation in 2007.
The ignition switch problem has been linked to 12 deaths, resulting in February’s recall and a federal investigation, an internal probe by GM, and preparations for hearings by Congress.