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.