While General Motors seems eager to put the record number of recalls behind it, the ignition switch debacle continues to haunt the company – with the first lawsuit opened by a US state announced recently.
The US state of Arizona has filed the lawsuit in relation to the slew of recalls linked to a faulty ignition switch, publicly accusing the No. 1 US automaker of consciously endangering the general public after it hid the safety defects and slowed down the recalls. The action was filed on Wednesday and the state has asked for civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. Since the problems affected hundreds of thousands of units, if successful, the suit would make GM pay billions of dollars.
General Motors started in February a long list of recalls for models equipped with defective ignition switches – in many cases the faulty part could cause an engine shutdown that leads to the potentially catastrophic failure of safety systems, including the airbags. Since then, numerous investigations and lawsuits have been opened against the company, as documents provided to the US Congress and federal safety regulators showed that the company might had known about the problems in some cases for at least a decade before ordering the recall campaigns.