The proposed suits seek to represent owners who bought or leased a GM recalled vehicle between July 2009 and July 2014 and either still have it, sold it after mid-February, when the recalls started, or had an accident that destroyed it after that date. More than 20 million customers could join the suit, according to the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
According to the complaints filed on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, "New GM repeatedly proclaimed that it was a company committed to innovation, safety and maintaining a strong brand.""New GM"is the re-branded name for automaker after its 2009 bankruptcy and government bailout. "The value of all GM-branded vehicles has diminished as a result of the widespread publication of those defects and New GM' corporate culture of ignoring and concealing safety defects."
Hundreds of individual complaints against GM about vehicle values were combined in two class actions, with the larger suit involving vehicles made after the bankruptcy. The smaller suite focused on ignition-switch faults in vehicles made before the bailout. Both complaints say the vehicles at issue started losing value in February 2014, a situation that continues, affecting Chevy Camaros with model years 2010 and 2011 that lost $2,000 in value, and the 2009 Pontiac Solstice, which has lost almost $3,000 in value, according to the suits.
More than 27 deaths have been attributed to the defects, according to the latest claims report released earlier this week by the attorney overseeing the compensation fund for victims of crashes stemming from the defects.
Plaintiffs are represented by co-lead counsel Steve W. Berman, Sean R. Matt and Andrew M. Volk of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, and Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Steven E. Fineman, Rachel Geman and Annika K. Martin of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, among others.
The cases are In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, case number 1:14-md-02543, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.