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GM Faces Five Federal Investigations

GM ignition defect

General Motors Confronted with Numerous Government Investigations Due to Ignition Switch Defect

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, General Motors announced that it is the subject of multiple federal investigations arising from its ignition switch defects, which have caused severe injuries and death to consumers throughout the country. These defects prompted GM’s recent faulty ignition switch recall of approximately 2.6 million cars.

 Now, GM is the subject of five different government investigations. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the SEC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an undisclosed state attorney general, and the U.S. Congress are all conducting separate investigations relating to GM’s misconduct.

Documents released in early April by Congress showed that GM had knowledge of its ignition switch defects more than a decade ago, but failed to fix the problem despite numerous opportunities to do so.  As a result, the company could face damages, fines, or civil and criminal penalties. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, each of the investigators is concentrating on different things. Federal attorneys are trying to determine whether GM is criminally liable for not acting when the ignition switch defect was first discovered 10 years ago. GM has not released the specific topic of the SEC investigation. Finally, the NHTSA is looking into whether GM acted swiftly enough when they learned about the ignition switch defect.

The defect at issue causes the affected vehicle’s ignition setting to switch from “on” to “off” with slight bumps in the road or even a heavy key chain.  When this occurs, the vehicles can lose power steering and power brakes, and the air bags stop functioning, which has lead to at least 13 deaths. 

The following cars have been recalled by GM:

  • 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
  • 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice
  • 2007-2010 Pontiac G5
  • 2007-2010 Saturn Sky
  • 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured as a result of a defective ignition switch in the above list of GM cars, please contact us online or call us at 800-829-7037 for a free and confidential consultation.  Our experienced automotive defect attorneys are committed to holding GM responsible for any serious injury caused by these defective and dangerous cars. We are here to help you.