UPDATE: 6/17/2014, 9:30 a.m.
General Motors recalls another 3.16 million vehicles for issue with the ignition switch.
UPDATE: 5/20/2014, 6:30 p.m.
General Motors' troubles are continuing. The company announced that there may be additional recalls and that they are facing lawsuits where the damages may top $10 billion.
UPDATE: 5/20/2014, 3:45 p.m.
GM’s woes continue as an additional 2.4 million vehicles are recalled and a federal fine of $35 million is imposed.
UPDATE: 5/16/2014, 5:45 p.m.
If the recent class action lawsuits are successful, GM may be facing a $10 billion loss.
UPDATE: 5/12/2014, 4:46 p.m.
GM ignition switch wrongful death lawsuit refiled amid allegations of fraud.
UPDATE: 4/22/2014, 12:46 p.m.
A California lawsuit against General Motors Co. over the ignition switch defect (which is linked to 13 deaths) has been put on hold. According to Bloomberg, a federal judge put the suit on hold until a New York bankruptcy court can rule on whether some claims for compensation may be brought; a determination is necessary as these claims may be in violation of a court order related to GM’s reorganization in 2009.
UPDATE: 4/18/2014, 5:40 p.m.
General Motors’ reorganization after its 2009 bankruptcy case prohibits many victims who were injured by its defective ignition switches from winning in court, according to motions filed last week by the automaker in several federal cases. Attorneys for GM argued that the ignition switch lawsuits violate the terms of a New York bankruptcy court’s order, and that all activity in these cases must stop unless the same bankruptcy court determines otherwise.
Attorneys for the victims disagreed, and argued that GM’s bankruptcy filing was largely irrelevant. The plaintiffs’ attorneys filed their own motions hoping to convince the presiding judges that litigation should continue in the interest of public safety. No rulings have been made yet on either motion.
UPDATE: 4/16/2014, 4:02 p.m.
General Motors rejected an alternative ignition switch for cost reasons, according to a letter sent to GM’s CEO Mary Barra today by Joan Claybrook, the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. GM designed the alternative switch in 2001 to be used in the Saturn Ion.
“General Motors picked a smaller and cheaper ignition switch that cost consumers their lives,” Claybrook and Ditlow said. “Who inside GM made these decisions and at what level?”
UPDATE: 4/9/2014, 9:25 a.m.
Federal regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a letter to General Motors today, which claims that the automaker is in violation of the NHTSA’s Special Order issued on March 4, 2014. The NHTSA ordered GM to respond to 107 questions regarding GM’s knowledge of the ignition switch defects present in multiple models of GM vehicles.
In response to the order, GM filed over 200,000 pages of documents on the April 3, 2014 deadline. The NHTSA reviewed the response, and issued the letter after GM failed to respond to nearly a third of the questions.
General Motors claims that it is trying to fully cooperate with the NHTSA, but that it could not answer many questions because of an ongoing internal investigation. The NHTSA believes that GM’s response is inadequate, and has ordered GM to pay a fine of $7,000 per day until response has been supplemented. If GM fails to provide the requested information, the NHTSA has threatened to refer GM’s refusal to the Department of Justice for further action.
UPDATE: 4/7/2014, 8:50 a.m.
Today is the first day that new ignition switches will be available to consumers on a widespread basis. Any Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac dealer will be able to replace the defective ignition switch in recalled vehicles free of costs to vehicle owners. Repairs should take approximately 30 minutes, though drivers may wish to make an appointment due to high demands for replaced parts. General Motors believes that recalled vehicles should be safe to drive before the repair is made, so long as the ignition key is not attached to any key rings or other heavy objects.
UPDATE: 4/4/2014, 11:20 a.m.
Last month, General Motors was ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to provide sworn answers to 107 questions regarding the recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. In response, GM filed over 200,000 pages of documents with the organization on Friday morning. It is unknown at this time when the information in these documents will become available to the public.
UPDATE: 4/2/2014, 5:10 p.m.
The issues raised in the hearings were tough, but fair. We'll continue doing all we can to repair our customers' vehicles and rebuild trust.
— Mary Barra (@mtbarra) April 2, 2014
UPDATE: 4/2/2014, 3:17 p.m.
Hearings began in front of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday and continued today. Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and David Friedman, acting director of the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration gave testimony regarding the events leading up to the massive nationwide recall of 1.6 million GM vehicles after it was discovered that the ignition switches in those vehicles were defective. Ms. Barra apologized for her company’s response to the problems with the ignition switches, and pledged that GM is working towards solutions for all consumers affected by the defective switches.
UPDATE: 3/31/2014, 4:15 p.m.
General Motors has issued a new recall for 1.3 million vehicles. This recall is unrelated to the defective ignition switches which were the subject of earlier recalls. The following vehicles are being recalled because of the possibility of a sudden loss of power steering:
- Chevrolet Malibu: All from model year 2004 and 2005, and some from model year 2006, 2008 and 2009.
- Chevrolet Malibu Maxx: All model year 2004 and 2005, and some from 2006.
- Chevrolet HHR: Some non-turbocharged models from 2009 and 2010.
- Chevrolet Cobalt: Some model year 2010 vehicles.
- Saturn Aura: Some model year 2008 and 2009 vehicles.
- Saturn Ion: All model year 2004 to 2007 vehicles.
- Pontiac G6: All model year 2005, and some model year 2006, 2008 and 2009 vehicles.
UPDATE: 3/28/2014, 8:15 p.m.
Owners of vehicles affected by the ignition switch recall should follow this three-point check plan: pic.twitter.com/ugWi1dEU9d
— General Motors (@GM) March 28, 2014
UPDATE: 3/21/2014, 11: 45 a.m.
The House of Representative’s Energy and Commerce Committee announced late yesterday that the CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, would be testifying on April 1, 2014 in front of the committee. The committee stated that it wanted to know if “this tragedy could have been prevented and what can be done to ensure the loss of life” does not happen again. The acting head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will also be testifying about why the NHTSA did not investigate the defective ignition switches or push for a vehicle recall earlier. Both organizations have been asked to provide extensive documentation to the committee detailing the timeline of the ignition switch complaints. GM has pledged to cooperate fully with the House’s investigation.
UPDATE: 3/20/2014, 1:27 p.m.
General Motors announced on Tuesday that Jeff Boyer has been named as the new Vice President of Global Vehicle Safety. In light of recent recalls, Mr. Boyer has been appointed to quickly resolve product safety issues. The new position will consolidate GM’s safety process under a single leader. Mr. Boyer has been with GM for more than 40 years.
UPDATE: 3/18/2014, 9:45 a.m.
General Motors issued three new recalls affecting 1.5 million vehicles. These recalls are unrelated to the ignition switch issues affecting previously recalled vehicles. The new recall affects Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia vehicles, Chevrolet Traverse vehicles, Saturn Outlooks, and Cadillac XTS luxury sedans.
UPDATE: 3/16/2014, 3:30 p.m.
A new lawsuit has been filed in federal court seeking $6 to $10 billion dollars in damages on behalf of the owners of any General Motors vehicles which are the subject of recent recalls. The lawsuit seeks to be classified as a class-action suit on behalf of any person who owns a vehicle with a faulty ignition switch. This lawsuit is not seeking to compensate the victims of accidents caused by the defective ignition switches, but rather wants GM to compensate all vehicle owners for the loss of value in their cars. The lawsuit states that GM vehicles are now worth less because of a decrease in consumer confidence in the vehicles, and believes that GM should pay owners the difference in value caused by the recalls.
UPDATE: 3/13/2014, 10:18 a.m.
Reports indicate that General Motors may have had information regarding the dangerous problems with the ignition switches in multiple vehicles as early as 2001. GM produced internal reports showing that the problems were documented internally before the production of the vehicles for sale. Service reports from 2003 also indicate that heavy key rings could cause the engine in the recalled vehicles to shut off.
GM also announced that it has hired attorneys to conduct an internal review of its handling of the ignition switch recall. Leading the examination will be Anton Valukas, Esq., who conducted the internal probe which lead to the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc.
UPDATE: 3/5/2014, 2:40 p.m.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered General Motors to respond to 107 questions under oath about the faulty ignition switches in 6 of its vehicles. GM has until April 3, 2014 to respond to the questions, which seek to understand GM’s knowledge of the ignition switch defect.
UPDATE: 2/26/2014, 8:50 a.m.
Yesterday, General Motors expanded its vehicle recall to include an additional 1.6 million vehicles. The new recall adds four additional models with faulty ignition switches. The additional vehicles added to the recall are the 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, the 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice, the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion and the 2007 Saturn Sky.
UPDATE: 2/21/2014, 2:30 p.m.
In response to the recent General Motors recall, allegations have surfaced that GM knew about the ignition switch defect in the affected vehicles as early as 2004. GM sent service bulletins to dealers in 2005 and 2006, and warned that a vehicle’s engine could be turned off and its airbags disabled if the car’s ignition switch were jostled or its key ring was too heavy. At least one lawsuit has been filed alleging that GM was negligent in failing to warn its customers of the problem or issue a recall regarding the defect.
UPDATE: 2/19/2014, 4:45 p.m.
A report from the New York Times states that the Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles recently recalled by GM are only 2 of 6 vehicles which may be affected by faulty ignition switches. The other vehicles which contain the defective switch include:
- 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR
- 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
- 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
- 2007 Saturn Sky
NYT sources indicate that there are an additional 643,000 of these vehicles which may contain the flawed ignition switch. So far, GM has not extended its recall to include these cars.
2/14/2014: General Motors Vehicle Recall Issued
A vehicle recall is in effect for 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles. General Motors issued a recall after its engineers determined that a flaw in the ignition switch could cause a vehicle’s engine to slip out of position and lose power, disabling important safety features like the airbags or brakes. This could occur if the ignition switch is jostled by rough roads, or by excessive weight on the key ring. Six people were killed in five crashes where the vehicles’ airbags did not deploy, and GM has reported similar issues in 17 other non-fatal accidents.
GM dealers will replace all ignition switches in the affected vehicles as soon as parts are available. Drivers should be sure to remove any unnecessary items from the key ring until the repair is made.