Lawsuit: GM knew of Cobalt ignition problem

Ignition switch problem can shut off engine while driving, and it can cut off the driver's power steering and brakes, as well as safety systems such as airbags and anti-lock brakes

General Motors knew in 2004, a decade before it issued a recall, that its Chevrolet Cobalt had an ignition switch that could inadvertently shut off the engine while driving, according to depositions in a civil lawsuit against GM. The stall also would cut off the driver's power steering and brakes, as well as safety systems such as airbags and anti-lock brakes.

At least one GM engineer had the problem while testing the new car, which went on sale in 2004 as a 2005 model, say documents obtained by USA TODAY from the lawsuit over a crash that killed pediatric nurse Brooke Melton. She died in 2010, on her 29th birthday, in the Cobalt she bought new in 2005.

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