MONTGOMERY, ALA. (March 28, 2014) – Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., has filed a complaint seeking class action status on behalf of more than 1.4 million General Motors (GM) automobile owners whose vehicles have been recalled by GM for a faulty ignition switch. The ignition switch problem allows the key to unintentionally slip from the “run” to “off” or “accessory” position while the vehicle is being operated. The ignition defect can cause the sudden loss of engine power, braking and steering, creating a hazardous emergency situation. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California against General Motors LLC; General Motors Holding, LLC; Delphi Automotive PLC; and DPH-DAS LLC f/k/a Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC.
The complaint charges GM with breach of warranty, fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and breach of the covenant of good faith and alleges GM did not reveal its knowledge of the defective ignition switch to government regulators or its customers.
W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, who is head of the firm’s Consumer Fraud and Class Action sections, will be working with lawyers Elizabeth J. Cabraser in San Francisco, Calif.; Roger L. Mandel in Dallas, Texas; Benjamin L. Bailey in Charleston, W. Va.; W. Mark Lanier in Houston, Texas; Don Barrett in Lexington, Miss.; and Robin Greenwald in New York, N.Y.
“GM concealed a dangerous defect and knowingly exposed all of us on the road to unnecessary risk for years,” Miles said. “This is not conduct that can be just swept away by an inadequate recall that does not not fully remedy the defect. This class demands a better remedy.”
GM recalled about 780,000 2005-07 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles on Feb. 13. Twelve days later, it expanded the recall to include an additional 590,000 model-year 2003-07 Saturn Ion, Chevy HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky vehicles. Court documents and other evidence reveal that GM knew about the ignition switch problem as early as 2001. However, GM rejected several design changes and solutions that were recommended by its own engineers on numerous occasions because of the cost and the time it would take to make the changes. GM has linked 31 crashes and 12 deaths to the faulty ignition switch, but a new study commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety indicates the death toll could be as high as 303.
Read the complaint.