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GM Recall Timeline and News Updates

Update 6/17/2014, 10:36 a.m.

General Motors announced a new recall yesterday affecting 3.16 million vehicles with model years ranging from 2000-2014. The affected vehicles need to have their ignition keys replaced, as the current keys may move out of place when jostled. This recall is unrelated to the previous ignition switch recalls which are the subject of multiple pending lawsuits.

Update 5/21/2014, 11:04 a.m.

Documents released by General Motors as part of their settlement with the federal government indicate that the company made an effort to train employees on changing their language to avoid admitting liability for defective products.

Update 5/20/2014, 3:35 p.m.

General Motors filed documents in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court stating that it is facing 79 lawsuits by consumers which demand as much as $10 billion. The automaker is in the bankruptcy court asking a federal judge to decide that the company is not liable for its actions prior to its 2009 bankruptcy case.

Later this month, a panel of bankruptcy judges will decide if all of the GM defect cases should be consolidated into one case, and if so, which federal court should hear it.

Update 5/19/2014, 8:39 a.m.

General Motors agreed to pay a $35 million fine on Friday in order to settle a federal investigation into its failure to recall faulty ignition switches in a timely manner. GM has denied in its court filings that it fraudulently concealed the defects, and continues to assert that its 2009 bankruptcy case shields the automaker from liability for any pre-2009 claims. CEO Mary Barra said that the company has learned a great deal from these recalls, and hopes that GM will become an industry leader in safety. GM has agreed to produce enough replacement switches to repair all affected vehicles by October 4 of this year.

Update 5/16/2014, 10:36 a.m.

General Motors has issued a new recall for 2.7 million vehicles, bringing the total to 12.8 million vehicles recalled by the automaker this year worldwide. This recall covers 2.4 million midsize cars with faulty wiring that affects the brake lights and could also disable safety features.

In light of GMs failure to recall vehicles with faulty ignition switches in a timely manner, the Department of Transportation announced today that the company will face a record-setting fine of $35 million. While this represents a very small fraction of GMs annual income, NBC News reports that it is the largest fine ever assessed by the DOT.

Update 5/12/2014, 4:43 p.m.

A General Motors lawsuit based on the company's faulty ignition switch may be reopened if a judge grants a motion finding fraud. According to a Bloomberg report, the plaintiffs attorney alleges that a GM engineer lied under oath when he denied that the company had any knowledge of a defect in the Chevy Cobalts ignition switch. If the judge finds that the engineer lied, the settlement may be thrown out and the case may go to trial.

Update 4/22/2014, 4:16 p.m.

A California judge has stayed an ignition switch lawsuit currently pending against General Motors Co. According to Bloomberg, the lawsuit has been put on hold until a New York bankruptcy court can determine whether or not the plaintiffs have standing to sue over the defects. The judge will decide if GM's 2009 bankruptcy reorganization prevents GM from being responsible for any pre-2009 injuries caused by its defective ignition switches.

Update 4/18/2014, 5:14 p.m.

According to Bloomberg, General Motors attorneys have filed a motion in pending defective ignition switch lawsuits across the country and are asking that all activity on those cases be put on hold until a federal bankruptcy judge decides whether or not civil lawsuits are in violation of the bankruptcy.

According to counsel for GM, the sale order that finalized GMs bankruptcy case in 2009 relieves the company from any liability for incidents that occurred prior to then. The auto manufacturer has asked that the bankruptcy judge reaffirm this decision.

The plaintiffs are calling General Motors bankruptcy case irrelevant and argue that the lawsuits should continue in the interest of consumer safety. No judge has issued a ruling on these matters just yet.

Update 4/17/2014, 3:55 p.m.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos announced today that General Motors does not have to tell car owners that it is unsafe to drive their vehicle until the faulty ignition switch is fixed.

The request for the park-it order was made by owners of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt who sued GM for the lost value of their car.

Update: 4/16/2014, 2:32 p.m.

General Motors rejected an alternative ignition switch for cost reasons, according to a letter sent to GM's CEO, Mary Barra, today by Joan Claybrook, the former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

General Motors picked a smaller and cheaper ignition switch that cost consumers their lives, Claybrook and Ditlow said. Who inside GM made these decisions and at what level?

Update: 4/9/2014, 9:45 a.m.

According to the New York Times, General Motors has been fined $28,000 for failing to provide the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration all the information they requested for the investigation into the recall. The auto manufacturer has been fined $7,000 per day after they passed the original deadline. Click here to read the entire letter from the NHTSA to GM.

Update: 4/4/2014, 3:55 p.m.

General Motors has hired Kenneth Feinberg to assist exploring potential compensation for families who suffered a loss due to the defective ignition switch.

Update: 4/4/2014, 1:50 p.m.

According to Reuters, GM answered approximately 65 percent of the questions posed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the ignition switch recall. The auto manufacturer provided more than 200,000 pages of answers just hours before the midnight deadline.

Update: 4/2/2014, 5:06 p.m.

For several hours, Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, spoke in front of a Senate investigative committee answering questions about the recall.

Update: 4/1/2014, 3:31 p.m.

During a House committee hearing, General Motors CEO provided information on the timeline of events leading up the ignition switch recall. Her written testimony made be read here .

Update: 4/1/2014, 10:55 a.m.

NBC News reports that Mary Barra met with victims families today and apologized for their suffering.

Update: 3/31/2014, 3:21 p.m.

GM media released Mary Barras written congressional testimony.

Update: 3/31/2014, 10:17 a.m.

According to Bloomberg, in 2005 the auto manufacturer canceled a proposal to fix the ignition switch problem due to high costs.

Update: 3/29/2014

Update: 3/27/2014, 1:22 p.m.

An addition recall involving more than 823,000 vehicles is announced after GM notified the NHTSA that the defective switches may have been used as service replacement parts in other vehicles.

Update: 3/18/2014 2:36 p.m.

According to NBC News, General Motors CEO, did not know about the defective GM cars until Jan. 31, 2014 she had been named CEO of the company just two weeks prior.

Update: 3/18/2014 1:42 p.m.

In an online announcement General Motors names Jeff Boyer their new vehicle safety chief.

Update: 3/17/2014 3:18 p.m.

According to NBC News, General Motors has been charged $300 million, however the penalty could actually increase.

Update: 3/17/2014 10:15 a.m.

General Motors recalls another 1.5 million vehicles due an unrelated issue. However, the recall comes just weeks after the faulty ignition is called into question.

Update: 3/15/2014 9:13 a.m.

According to NBC News, a class action lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in Texas. Consumers allege that due to the ignition switch problems, their vehicles lost their value.

Update: 3/12/2014 5:11 p.m.

General Motors has recommended that anyone driving an affected vehicle separate the key from any key rings; it should be used plainly. Additional weight on the ignition switch could lead to failure, according to information from NBC News.

Update: 3/12/2014 12:32 p.m.

A federal prosecutor has announced that a criminal investigation into the auto manufacturers handling of the vehicle defect and recall has been requested.

Update: 3/11/2014, 1:23 p.m.

According to NBC News, a House Committee has given General Motors and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration two weeks to answer a series of questions about the recall.

Update: 3/10/2014, 5:21 p.m.

Reuters reports that General Motors has hired two law firms to look into the recall.

Update: 2/28/2014, 10:04 a.m.

According to a timeline provided to the NHTSA by GM, back in 2004 one of GMs engineers had knocked the vehicle out of the run position during testing back. By 2005 an engineer had proposed that GM redesign the key, but the proposal was rejected.

General Motors was notified that at least one death had been caused by air bag failure in 2005, however, engineers only found out about the problem in 2007. Two years later, GM opened an investigation into the defective ignition switch and design change was implanted into all 2010 vehicles around that time GM stopped manufacturing Chevy Cobalts.

General Motors spoke with Delphi in late 2013, the auto parts manufacturer who had designed the ignition switch informed GM that an engineer had signed off on changes to the ignition switch seven years prior.

Update: 2/27/2014, 4:21 p.m.

According to USA Today, General Motors has linked a total of 13 deaths and 31 car crashes to the ignition switch problem.

Update: 2/25/2014, 10:17 a.m.

GM has increased the number of vehicles being recalled to include an additional 748,024 vehicles.

Update: 2/20/2014, 9:28 a.m.

USA Today reports that a civil lawsuit filed in regard to a 2010 fatal accident involving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt included documents that GM knew about the hazard. The owner of the vehicle had taken the car to a local dealer for ignition switch problems just days before the fatal collision.

Update: 2/13/2014, 2:31 p.m.

According to USA Today, General Motors knew of at least six deaths involving the 2005 Chevy Cobalt. In each accident the air bags failed to deploy as a result of the defective ignition switch. Additionally, GM had linked more than 20 accidents to the defective ignition switches.


General Motors (GM) notifies the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that they are recalling 619,000 vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch. If the switch is moved into the off position, that air bags may fail to deploy during a collision.

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