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GM Changed Ignition Part Without Telling Drivers, Regulators

Lawsuit uncovers modification aimed at quietly eliminating problem.

by on Mar.25, 2014

A lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who was killed driving one of GM's recalled vehicle discovered the automaker changed the ignition without telling owners or federal regulators.

General Motors knew about a defect in its ignition switches eight years ago and changed the design of an internal part, but never told federal regulators or the drivers of its cars, according to evidence from a recent lawsuit filed by the parents of a Georgia woman who died in a 2010 GM car crash.

In February, the automaker recalled 1.6 million vehicles, saying their ignition switches could be accidentally turned from “on” to the “accessory” position while the car was being driven, shutting down the car’s power brakes, power steering and airbags. GM’s own figures have linked ignition problems to a dozen deaths.

Automotive Insight!

But evidence from a lawsuit filed by the parents of Brooke Melton, whose Chevy Cobalt spun out of control after shutting off on her 29th birthday, shows that in 2006 GM altered two internal pieces of its ignition switches in a way that would make it less likely for the ignition to shut off accidentally – and made the change without alerting the government or the owners of the cars affected. (more…)


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