Court Blocks Suits Over Defective GM Ignition Switches

A court has ruled that General Motors is shielded from some lawsuits involving defective ignition switches.

   People who were injured or lost family members because of problems with General Motors ignition switches are weighing their legal options after a judge ruled the automaker could not be sued over the defective items.

   GM set up a fund to compensate victims of crashes involving the ignition switches, which could malfunction and cause a vehicle to suddenly lose power and fail to deploy its air bags.

   The automaker knew about the problem for more than a decade before recalling the vehicles.

   But a federal judge ruled this week that GM could not be sued for damages for accidents that happened before the company exited its government orchestrated bankruptcy in 2009.

   As part of that exit the so-called “new GM” is not liable for conduct carried out by the old, pre-bankruptcy GM.

   The ruling puts a hold on more than 140 lawsuits filed against the automaker over the defective ignition switches.

   The vast majority of suits connected to the ignition problem concern compensation for economic losses, like diminished resale values for the cars that have been recalled.   


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.