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State of Arizona Sues the New General Motors Over Vehicle Defects

Our neighbor to the east, Arizona, has decided to file its own lawsuit against the “New G.M.” for having manufactured and marketed thousands of defective vehicles. As we wrote about earlier this month, should General Motors lose its bankruptcy shield, the automaker’s liability is likely to increase dramatically.

Arizona’s lawsuit is the latest proof.

As Rebecca Ruiz reports for the New York Times, the state’s attorney general has said that filing its own lawsuit against General Motors is “the best way to protect the citizens of Arizona.” Regarding the company’s 2009 bankruptcy, the New G.M. “was not born innocent.”

Many Deaths and Injuries Tied to Vehicle Defects

According to Ruiz, Arizona’s complaint alleges numerous defects: the infamous ignition switch, as one, along with problems with brake lights, airbags, transmission cables and headlights. In the best of cases, to put it mildly, these defects are said to have caused a decrease in the value of consumers’ vehicles. That’s bad enough.

But in the worst, people have lost their lives as a result of the defects.

Considering just defective ignition switches – equipped on thousands of vehicles and a known issue that General Motors was apparently unwilling or otherwise unable to fix – there have been at least 29 deaths in crashes tied to the switches. If you also count injuries (but not deaths), you’d add 27 people.

The Problem Was a Decade in the Making

According to a Fox News report, “GM knew about faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars for more than a decade but didn’t recall them until February. The switches can slip out of the ‘on’ position, which causes the cars to stall, knocks out power steering and turns off the air bags.” (Number of deaths tied to General Motors ignition switch defect rises to 29.)

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