Last Monday, Plaintiffs filed a putative class action against General Motors in Trenton federal court. GM has issued a massive recall because ignition switches on multiple GM brands allowed the key to turn into the “off” position while the car was in motion, causing the engine to shutdown, and deactivating the power steering, antilock brakes, and airbag deployment. The faulty ignition has led to at least 13 deaths – although that number could be significantly higher – and numerous accidents and injuries.
The Complaint alleges that GM engineers first learned of the ignition problem in 2001, but did nothing until issuing a bulletin to dealers in 2005, and the eventual recall in February 2014. In the meantime, General Motors continued to build cars with the defective ignition. GM models up to model year 2010 are affected. The named plaintiff, Lisa Ruff of Hazlet, alleges that her daughter totaled a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt when the engine shut off, she lost control, and struck a tree.
The judicial panel on multi district litigation has received notice of at least 15 other cases being filed against GM over the same issue, 8 of which were filed in Los Angeles, CA. On May 29, the panel will consider whether to consolidate all cases in Los Angeles.