Apparently, the only thing new about the “new G.M.,” as it is known, is the fact that it survived the Great Recession after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Hilary Stout with the New York Times reports that G.M. currently faces the considerable weight of a 700-page “master complaint” filed in federal court, a class action behemoth of a case that alleges G.M. has “produced an inordinate number of vehicles with serious safety defects.”
Per Stout’s report, G.M. has recalled 27 million vehicles in 2014, a significant contribution to the overall number of recalled vehicles among all automakers – 48 million so far this year.
The Ignition Switch
Stout writes that the ignition switch is a central issue in the class action filing (a major defect that is apparently just one of many; “The array of concealed defects is astounding,” goes the complaint, as Stout reports).
According to Chris Woodyard with USA Today, the “death count” (as the headline puts it) is now 27 because of a defect in G.M.’s ignition switch. 25 other people have been injured but survived. The defect exists in older models from the mid-2000s, cars like the Saturn Ion and Chevy Cobalt, where the switches go from “on” to “accessory” while in motion, which means that drivers lose power steering, brakes, and airbags at the worst possible time – while they’re going from Point A to Point B.