GM Keeps Winning Those Ignition Switch Cases

Image: Bill Pugliano via Getty Images
Image: Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

General Motors has won its third of six “bellwether” cases, with a Texas jury finding that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove a recalled faulty ignition switch caused the death of a driver involved in a crash with a Saturn Sky in 2011.


The six “bellwether” cases involving the GM ignition switch recall are designed to help settle dozens of other claims brought against the automaker, and so far, the General is three for three.

A jury found that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that a faulty ignition switch in Zachary Stevens’ Saturn Sky led to the crash that killed the driver of another vehicle and seriously injured Stevens.

Stevens had originally been charged for manslaughter for the accident, but the chargers were eventually dropped following GM’s ignition switch recall.

From the Associated Press:

These cases have been part of a series of bellwether trials that are testing the legal boundaries of hundreds of claims remaining against GM.

In September, GM announced it had settled 1,385 death and injury cases for $275 million and a class-action shareholders’ lawsuit for $300 million.

The company paid nearly $600 million to settle 399 claims made to a fund it established. Those claims covered 124 deaths and 275 injuries. GM’s fund rejected more than 90 percent of the 4,343 claims it received, according to figures the company released in December.

After Thursday’s verdict, several jurors said that while they were upset about GM’s failure to let consumers know about the ignition switch problems sooner, they didn’t see any proof in this case that the switch was at fault.

“I held my nose and I did my job,” said Walter Kimble, 58, one of the jurors. “I wanted so desperately to make that young man a millionaire, but they didn’t give me anything I could work with.”

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


GM knowingly covers up a known problem (that ended in fatalities) and declines 90% of claims, costs less than 1 billion

Toyota - found not at fault, no fatalities, yet still pays over 1 billion in the “accelerator pedal incidents”

Whats next?