Two complaints filed against General Motors Co. in the United States claim that the carmaker may not have recalled all Chevrolet Cobalt fitted with faulty ignition switches. According to a complaint filed by 13 customers in federal court in San Francisco, ignition defects linked to 12 deaths were not fixed at all. A second lawsuit in Alabama state court cites technical service bulletins that the carmaker sent to dealers that alerted them of keys that may “stick” or “bind” in the ignition cylinders of Cobalts and other cars that were not covered by the recall.
The San Francisco complaint alleges that the issues were also found in Cobalts through 2010. The Alabama complaint, meanwhile, claims that GM was aware of issues with Cobalts built before April 2009. Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies Inc. which researches product hazards, remarked that GM failed to address design flaws that could lead to accidents.
“GM may have to expand the recall,” he said. “Note that the driver’s knee can turn the key off too.” Kane said that the difficulty of removing Cobalt keys is less hazardous than a design flaw that could cause airbags and engine power to fail to work. Mark Reuss, GM vice president of global product development, disclosed on March 18 that the carmaker has already identified all the models installed with the faulty ignition switches. “Where the switch was used in production, we have done a very accurate and complete read across,” Reuss told reporters. [source: BusinessWeek]