Welcome!

News Feed Item

Grant & Eisenhofer and National Coalition of Major Trial Firms Bring Class Action against General Motors Over Defective Key System

Suit filed in San Francisco seeks economic recovery for owners and lease-holders of GM cars whose faulty key systems were prone to sudden shut-down, a problem GM concealed for a decade; plaintiffs represented by Grant & Eisenhofer, Baron & Budd, The Coope

SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As General Motors braces for bruising investigations by Congress and federal regulators over its decade-long failure to correct faulty ignitions switches on several of its major car brands, GM now also faces a private class action filed by a group of GM consumers from nine states seeking economic recovery on behalf of a nationwide class for purchasing and/or leasing vehicles they allege the company knew were defective.

The suit accuses the auto giant of fraudulently concealing material facts regarding the scope and extent of problems with its key system, which have been linked to at least 31 crashes and 13 fatalities nationally.  The company is in the midst of a massive recall involving some 1.6 million vehicles carrying the defective switches.

The suit, filed today in the U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Francisco, contends that GM knew its key system posed an "increase[ed] risk of injury or fatality" as far back as 2001 but failed to take proper steps to correct the defects, which could cause certain Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn cars to shut down without warning while being driven.  In addition to rendering the cars' power steering and brakes inoperable, the ignition failures caused the safety airbags to stop functioning, putting drivers at extreme risk in a collision.  GM has publicly admitted that its keys could inadvertently slip out of the "run" position with the car's engine on.

Today's action was brought by 13 GM customers who bought and leased its cars in a number of states, including California, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas and Vermont.  More plaintiffs are expected to join the suit, which covers a variety of GM cars for model years ranging from 2003-2010 (a full list of the vehicles covered follows below).

The plaintiffs argue that GM was fully aware that the problems extended beyond just the ignition switch mechanism that has been the focus of the recall.  According to their complaint, the company's engineering documents show that the defects also included the placement of the switch in the steering column and a lack of adequate protection from normal, incidental contact by drivers.  "To fully remedy the problem and render the defective vehicles safe and of economic value to their owners again, additional design elements beyond a new ignition switch are needed," the complaint states.

"The fact that GM has, to date, issued a partial recall knowing the insufficiency underscores GM's ongoing fraudulent concealment and misrepresentation of the nature and extent of the defects," the complaint continues.

Separate from ongoing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against GM, the latest action is asking the court to compel the company to undertake a full repair and overhaul of the affected key systems so that all defective vehicles can have their value restored.  Consumers are also seeking monetary compensation for the diminished value of their cars.

"It is tremendously disappointing that General Motors, which was bailed out by U.S. consumers during the financial crisis, has been carrying on the most egregious and far-reaching cover-up in automotive history because it didn't want to assume the costs of fixing cars it knew to be dangerously defective," said Adam Levitt, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs group.  Mr. Levitt is a director of prominent litigation firm Grant & Eisenhofer, where he heads the firm's Consumer Practice group, and is currently leading its litigation on behalf of Ford Motor customers seeking redress from Ford vehicles that were subject to incidents of sudden, unintended acceleration.

According to the complaint, GM could have placed a simple protective shield around its key system to keep it in place and prevent it from disengaging, thereby disabling the cars.  "We intend to show that despite the option of a straightforward fix, GM chose to dismiss the solution because of the added costs involved in undertaking a voluntary recall," Mr. Levitt said. 

He noted the irony of GM's current advertising campaign, encouraging drivers to "Find New Roads" in their personal journeys.  "We hope GM's ad slogan also refers to the roads of truth and corporate accountability, which this affair reveals have been the roads less traveled by the company for a long time."

In addition to Grant & Eisenhofer, plaintiffs are represented by noted litigation firms Baron & Budd PC of Dallas and The Cooper Firm of Marietta, Georgia.  Cooper's principal partner Lance Cooper is recognized as the attorney who first uncovered GM's key system problem, as well as the company's years-long effort to hide it.

Other major firms comprising the litigation team include Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Goza, P.C.; The DiCello Law Firm; Conley Griggs Partin LLP; Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC; Bucci Bailey & Javins L.C.; and Siprut P.C. 

Among the lawyers participating in the action are Edward D. "Chip" Robertson, Jr., who served as Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, along with Sharon L. Potter, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia. 

"We have an incredibly strong national trial team, supported by several highly respected experts with extensive experience in large-scale automotive cases," noted Mr. Levitt of Grant & Eisenhofer.  "We also believe we're bringing a set of facts to our complaint that are unique with respect to GM's conduct regarding its defective key system and its subsequent cover-up."

The lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, covers owners and lease-holders of the following GM vehicles – dates indicate model years:  Chevrolet Cobalt (2005-2010); Chevrolet HHR (2006-07); Pontiac Solstice (2006-07); Pontiac G5 (2005-07); Saturn Ion (2003-07); and Saturn Sky (2007).

Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A. (www.gelaw.com)

Grant & Eisenhofer represents plaintiffs in a wide range of complex financial litigation. G&E's clients include institutional investors, whistleblowers and other stakeholders in bankruptcy litigation, securities class actions, derivative lawsuits, consumer class actions, antitrust suits, and cases involving the False Claims Act. G&E has recovered more than $13 billion for its clients and class members in the last five years alone and has consistently been cited by RiskMetrics for securing the highest average investor recovery in securities class actions. G&E has been named one of the country's top plaintiffs' law firms by The National Law Journal for the past 10 years.

From:  Allan Ripp 212-262-7477 [email protected] 
          Elise Martin 302-622-7004 [email protected]

SOURCE Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
HyperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let’s say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StorageCraft Technology Corp, a global leader in backup and disaster, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The StorageCraft family of companies, founded in 2003, provides award-winning backup, disaster recovery, system migration and data protection solutions for servers, desktops and laptops in addition to powerful data analytics.
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and attent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.