The federal District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos decided yesterday General Motors doesn’t need to tell owners of the 2.6 million cars recalled over the defective ignition switch to stop using them.
The proposed order – unprecedented – was rejected by the Corpus Christi, Texas judge – which ruled that US safety regulators should decide what the carmaker should do – not a court.
”GM pushed to win this hearing on a technicality,” said Bob Hilliard, a Corpus Christi-based lawyer for the plaintiffs. “There’s no doubt had they agreed with me and done this voluntarily, lives would have been saved.”
At the moment, GM, which decided not to correct the problem known to some of its engineers and other staff for over a decade, faces a mounting wave of litigations – with at least 37 (most are group actions) over the ignition switch defect.
The Texas lawsuit was called against GM by owners of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, who claimed the recall made them lose value on their car. They also called the park order the only “fail-safe solution” for owners of the 2.6 million cars recalled – until the defective part is changed. The judge also stated that in part her decision was motivated by the fact that having the order was not critical to the case’s advancement.