It is believed that over 300 deaths have occurred because of the problem, which GM admits it has known about since 2004. GM recalled 1.6 million affected cars in February 2014, 10 years after discovering the dangerous equipment failure.
"Given the vast number of instances of sudden engine power loss and non-deployment of airbags related to the defective ignition switch and GM' knowledge of many or all of the instances, GM should have aggressively developed a remedy years ago,"the complaint alleges. "GM failed to do so. In fact, its first recall was not implemented until 2014, nearly 10 years after instances of engine power loss."
GM recalled roughly 620,000 Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles on February 13, and then expanded the recall two weeks later to include an additional 750,000 Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Ion compact cars, totaling 1.37 million vehicles.
The class action lawsuit demands compensation for deaths and injuries and also directs GM to issue a personal advisory to every single owner of the affected vehicles telling them to immediately stop driving their recalled vehicle. The suit requires GM to pay for rental cars used by owners while their recalled vehicles are being repaired. It also asks for diminution of value for all the recalled vehicles.
The lawsuit is Daryl Brandt et al. v. General Motors LLC, case number 2:14-cv-00079, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Corpus Christi Division.
Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP is head attorney for the class action lawsuit against General Motors.