General Motors has largely put its ignition switch recall crisis behind it—to the tune of over $2.5 billion in criminal, civil and other penalties—but various legal trials still linger. In the first of a couple hundred cases, GM was cleared of any wrongdoing with regards to its updated ignition switch fix.
Reuters reports an Arizona man alleged he was involved in a crash after his updated ignition switch moved the key out of place, and in turn, cut power and the ability to steer and brake. The case is significant because, as mentioned, the ignition switch was replaced with the approved fix found in 2.6 million other recalled cars.
“In this case, the jury carefully considered the evidence and found that the ignition switch in this car was not defective and played no role in the accident,” GM said in a statement after the verdict.
GM had previously admitted fault and declared the original ignition switch was indeed defective, but the updated ignition switch has received all seals of approval. Despite that, 230 cases await a hearing with courts. Six were selected for test trials.
Defense lawyers argued the crash was caused by the driver’s own actions after not paying attention to traffic conditions and the road ahead.
The previous ignition switch has been linked to 124 deaths in GM vehicles.