A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against GM over an alleged defect in GM trucks and SUVs produced between the 1999 and 2018 model years. The lawsuit, originally filed in 2021, has been amended and refiled multiple times. Following its most recent dismissal, the judge ruled that plaintiffs could again amend and refile the GM airbag class action lawsuit.
Per a recent report from Car Complaints, the class action lawsuit alleges that the sensing and diagnostic modules which control deployment of the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners in certain GM vehicles contains a defect in which the time window to engage these safety features in a crash “prematurely” closes, thus “putting occupants of the Class Vehicles in serious danger.” The lawsuit alleges that the software controlling these systems is calibrated such that it prevents airbag and seatbelt deployment 45 milliseconds after a crash. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that GM knew about the defect, and concealed the issue from the public.
The lawsuit was originally filed on August 17th, 2021, with 72 named plaintiffs, asserting millions of GM vehicles equipped with the defect. The lawsuit was dismissed, then amended and refiled the following October before the judge dismissed all non-California plaintiffs for lack of jurisdiction, leaving three of the 72 plaintiffs remaining. The three remaining plaintiffs refiled their second amended lawsuit in January of 2023.
In response, GM told Judge Jon S. Tigar that the plaintiffs did not plausibly allege a defect between the model years outlined, to which Judge Tigar agreed, saying that the software in all the vehicles in the class prior vary substntially with regard to deployment cut-off times. The dismissal was done so without prejudice for “failure to allege a plausible claim,” however, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs could amend the lawsuit and refile.