Texas judge: GM doesn't need to order customers to stop driving recalled vehicles

Apart from numerous investigations being carried by Congress and federal regulators, GM might have to face an onslaught of consumer-driven lawsuits.

By Ananth Baliga
Texas judge: GM doesn't need to order customers to stop driving recalled vehicles
The 2004 Saturn ION Quad Coupe is one of the cars being recalled. (Credit:GM)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, April 18 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Texas ruled Thursday that GM did not have to ask customers driving recalled cars to stop driving their cars until the defect is fixed.

The court rejected a consumer effort saying regulators were better placed than the courts to manage the recall. Meanwhile, GM is attempting to sidestep another lawsuit in California, with plaintiffs challenging GM's claims that it was shielded from old liabilities becuase of its 2009 bankruptcy filing.


Plaintiffs called these claims "irrelevant" and a "red herring."

The Detroit-based car maker has asked both courts, California and Texas, to delay litigation until a bankruptcy court in New York rules on whether some claims for compensation can be brought without violating a court order in its 2009 reorganization.

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GM said that it was aware of 36 suits, similar to the one mentioned above, all claiming damages for and liberties for faulty design that were rejected by the new GM in bankruptcy.

The California plaintiffs are seeking more information from GM, based on which they will ask a judge to make the carmaker disclose more facts about its recall, and possibly ground the defective vehicles.


“This discovery is sought in order to protect the public,” they said in a court filing yesterday. “GMs argument regarding the impending filing with the Bankruptcy Court is a red herring and must be rejected,” they said.

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GM declined to comment on the litigation but had this to say about the recall and its conduct during the last few weeks.

“Our full efforts are on our customers’ safety and fixing their vehicles as quickly as we can,” Kevin Kelly, a GM spokesman, said in a statement. “We also are conducting an unsparing, comprehensive review of the circumstances leading to the ignition switch recall to make sure something like this does not happen again.”


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