Customers Sue GM Over Recalled Ignition Switch Issue

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Some customers are suing General Motors over ignition problems on their vehicles. After recalling 1.6 million cars, the automaker is now facing legal action from car owners who claim their vehicles decreased in value due to the problems.

The proposed class action claims GM had knowledge of the problem beginning as early as 2004. The lawsuit contends that the automaker failed to fix the problem, creating dangerous conditions for drivers and a number of fatal crashes.

GM isn’t just in hot water with former customers. The recall of the ignition switch defect also has the automaker dealing with government criminal and civil investigations, hearings by Congress and an internal probe by GM itself. Most parties are questioning just when GM found out about the problem and addressed it.

While the lawsuit does not claim customers were injured due to the defect, they are seeking damages for loss of the use of their vehicles along with repairs and decreased resale value.

GM revealed the recall back in February. However, the automaker knew about the ignition switch problem as early as 2001. The defect involved jostling the ignition switch, which would in turn potentially turn off the car’s engine and even disable the airbags. GM has stated that 12 deaths have been reported and 34 crashes involving the vehicles with the recalled ignitions switch.

The Center for Auto Safety revealed somewhat different numbers than GM, stating data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted 303 deaths due to failed deployment of airbags on two

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Details courtesy of Reuters, photo courtesy of USA Today