General Motors Co. (GM:US), which recalled more than 2.59 million small cars for faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths, was sued in a proposed class action in Manhattan federal court, adding to more than a dozen similar cases filed across the country.
Vehicle owners in the cases seek compensation for the lost value of their cars stemming from the unreliable switches, which can cut power to the engine and airbags when jostled by keys. A federal judge in Corpus Christi, Texas, is considering a request that she order GM to tell owners of the recalled vehicles not to drive them until they can be repaired.
Steven Groman, who said he owned a 2008 Chevrolet HHR, claimed GM falsely advertised its cars as safe and reliable. Instead, his car experienced at least four engine shutdowns, prompting him to trade it in at a loss in 2011, he said in his complaint.
“GM knew that the defective design of the ignition switches in these vehicles presented serious safety issues,” Groman said. “GM consciously chose to conceal it and not address the problem.”
Groman, who seeks to represent a nationwide group of people who owned or leased defective GM vehicles since 2002, is asking for unspecified damages.
His lawsuit joins at least 15 federal suits against GM over the ignition switches filed throughout the U.S.
The case is Groman v. General Motors LLC, 12-cv-02458, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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