GM Ignition Switch Defect & Recall

Attorneys With A Record Of Success Against General Motors

Few, if any, law firms in America can match this firm's record in cases against General Motors. We've handled 35 cases against GM – and won them all. Those cases have been all over the country - from Nevada to New York, Montana to Georgia and South Carolina. (See list of cases below.) We have one verdict against GM for $150 million and another for $105 million. This law firm has also handled dozens of automotive products liability cases against other automakers. We have handled cases in 30 states.

As one of GM's own national lawyers once said, "Butler Wooten is by far the law firm GM fears most."

Handling an automotive products liability case requires specialized knowledge, skills and experience, and the willingness to take on a huge corporation and spend the time and money necessary to bring it to justice.

GM's History Of Hiding The Ignition Switch Defect

GM has known about the dangers of its cars' losing power for decades - it had a very similar problem with some of its vehicles in the 1980s. This ignition switch defect is the latest example. Over two-and-a-half million GM cars have a defective ignition switch which can move from the "run" position to the "auxiliary" position while the car is traveling down the road. That shuts off power steering and power brakes - which may well cause a wreck. It also shuts off the airbags - which can cause injury or death if there is a wreck. Those cars include the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion, Pontiac Pursuit, Pontiac Solstice, Chevrolet HHR and Saturn Sky models manufactured between 2005 and 2011.

GM has known about that ignition switch defect for over ten years. GM knew the ignition switch did not even meet GM's own specifications. GM engineers warned GM executives about the problem and came up with a "fix" - which GM executives rejected because of cost. A GM executive has admitted that GM "made a business decision not to fix this problem."

What GM has done about the ignition switch defect is the same thing it did about a host of other defects over the course of decades. (See April 20, 2014 New York Times article linked at the bottom of this page.) This law firm was a pioneer in proving that GM knew about such defects but concealed its guilty knowledge and misled consumers in an attempt to avoid having to do a product recall - all because GM put profits ahead of safety.

This Firm Has Fought GM And Won

Over many years, in many different cases, we have taken sworn testimony from high-ranking GM officials, including the Chairman, the General Counsel, the Executive Vice President, various Chief Engineers for different GM products, and the head of GM's engineering safety department.

We have proved, in case after case, that GM concealed defects in an attempt to avoid a recall; that GM concealed evidence in an effort to keep victims from learning the whole truth; and that GM coldly calculated that it was cheaper to settle claims after people were killed and injured than it was to fix all the cars with the defect that was killing and injuring innocent customers. After years of effort over the course of several cases, this law firm won a court order that GM had committed crimes and frauds and, as a result, it had lost its right to withhold documents from the plaintiff based on attorney client privilege.

We have proved that GM has an executive culture that puts profit over people – money first, safety last. GM's current 'spin' about the ignition switch defect is that things have changed at "the new GM." The ignition switch defect controversy proves that is false.

The evidence we have put together against GM is legendary. Some examples: In a case involving GM's pickup trucks with gas tanks hanging on the side outside the frame rails, we once asked a GM fuel systems engineer if he could think of a worse place to put a gas tank than on the side. After a long pause, when he looked like a 'deer caught in the headlights,' he finally said "I guess it would be worse to put it on the front bumper." In a case involving defective door latches which sprang open in a side impact wreck, we proved that a GM safety engineer put on a "show and tell" demonstration to GM executives explaining how dangerous that defect was. Asked why he did that, the safety engineer said "we were trying to find a design responsible person to effect a change." Asked if he was successful, he responded, "unfortunately we were not."

Contact Our Law Firm

This firm's lawyers are prepared to take on GM and fight for the people who were injured by this ignition switch defect and airbag failures. We handle cases nationwide. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

This firm's list of cases against General Motors:

  1. Hinton/Jones v. GM - Brake Shift Interlock -- Georgia - Settled 7/19/11
  2. Hardee v. GM - Roof Crush -- New York - Settled 2/23/11
  3. Chansuthus v. GM - Airbag -- Tennessee - Settled 1/27/11
  4. Brazelton v. GM - Defective Rear Structure/Crashworthiness -- Georgia - Settled 12/17/09
  5. Beck v. GM - Airbag -- Georgia - Settled 4/9/09
  6. Steiner v. GM - Roof Crush -- Kansas - Settled 8/31/02
  7. Bradstreet/Gallagher v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Montana - Settled 4/5/02
  8. McCutchen v. GM - Seatback -- Georgia - Settled 4/5/02
  9. Chamberlain v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Kansas - Settled 4/5/02
  10. Phillips/Byrd v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Montana - Settled 9/25/00
  11. Bampoe-Parry v. GM - Fuel Tank -- Georgia - Settled 9/24/99
  12. Cooper v. GM - Door Latch --Mississippi - Settled 5/19/99
  13. Hamil/Knott/Whaler v. GM - Fuel Tank -- Oklahoma - Settled 5/5/99
  14. Simmons v. GM - Door Latch -- Mississippi - Settled 8/17/98
  15. Peterson v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Kansas - Settled 3/10/98
  16. Barnes v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- South Carolina - Settled 3/10/98
  17. Below v. GM - Door Latch -- Ohio - Settled 1998
  18. Douglas/Mayfield/Wall v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Nevada - Settled 1998
  19. Woody v. GM - Seatback -- Georgia - Settled 11/19/97
  20. Conkle v. GM - Door Latch -- Georgia - Settled 4/28/97
  21. Roberts v. GM - Door Latch -- Georgia - Settled 4/28/97
  22. Oswalt v. GM - Engine Fire -- Georgia - Settled 1/97
  23. Hardy v. GM - Rollover/Door Latch -- Alabama - Verdict 6/3/96 - Settled 11/96
  24. Randolph/Dalton v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Georgia - Settled 8/21/96
  25. Seebeck v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Georgia - Settled 8/21/96
  26. Unnamed Plaintiffs v. GM - Fuel Tank California - Settled 7/8/96
  27. Bishop v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Oklahoma - Settled 9/8/95
  28. Moseley v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Georgia - Verdict 2/4/93 - Settled 9/8/95
  29. Cockrum v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Kansas - Settled 9/8/95
  30. Wilson v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- Oklahoma - Settled 9/8/95
  31. Cameron v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank -- South Carolina - Settled 12/16/94
  32. McKinley/Marlow v. GM - Pickup Fuel Tank - Georgia - Settled 3/18/94
  33. Unnamed Plaintiffs v. GM - Door Latch -- Georgia - Settled 5/14/93
  34. Unnamed Plaintiffs v. GM - Door Latch -- Georgia - Settled 2/24/92
  35. Unnamed Plaintiffs v. GM - Door Latch -- Georgia - Settled 4/29/91

For detailed information on these victories against General Motors, please click here.

When the Plaintiffs are not named, that is because GM insisted that the settlement be kept "confidential."


Recent New Updates

GM Delays Recall Of Cars Affected By Fatal Ignition Defect

Nine years ago, General Motors first learned of an auto defect in the Chevrolet Cobalt that could cause the car to spontaneously stall. The culprit was a faulty ignition switch. Thirteen fatal accidents have since been connected to the GM ignition switch. General Motors failed to issue a recall on the Cobalt and similar vehicles, despite the auto defect, until February of this year.

The New York Times, Sending Alerts Instead, G.M. Delayed Car Recalls