The court granted final approval to a $120 million settlement on behalf of affected GM vehicle owners on Dec. 18, 2020. Under the settlement, a trust controlled by creditors in GM’s 2009 bankruptcy will contribute up to $50 million.

Case Status
Settlement Amount
$120 Million
Case Caption
In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation
Co-Lead Counsel
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Judge Assigned
Hon. Jesse M. Furman
Case Number
General Motors Company
File Date

Hagens Berman, a consumer-rights law firm that took a leading role in the largest automotive lawsuit in history, represented owners of GM-branded vehicles in a national class-action lawsuit seeking compensation, statutory penalties and punitive damages against GM on behalf of owners of millions of vehicles affected by safety defects and recalls.


The lawsuit states that GM issued a series of recalls involving delays, failure to adequately notify vehicle owners and cover-ups from GM.


Delta Ignition Switch Defect:

  • 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2007-2010 Pontiac G5
  • 2007-2010 Saturn Sky
  • 2003-2007 Saturn ION
  • 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice

Recall 14v355 Low Torque Ignition Switch Defect:

  • >2005-2009 Buick Lacrosse
  • 2006-2014 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2000-2005 Cadillac Deville
  • 2006-2011 Cadillac DTS
  • 2006-2011 Buick Lucerne
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Recall 14v394 Low Torque Ignition Switch Defect:

  • 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS
  • 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX

Recall 14v400 Low Torque Ignition Switch Defect:

  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala
  • 1997-2003 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2004-2005 Chevrolet Malibu Classic
  • 2000-2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
  • 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
  • 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
  • 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

Knee-to-Key Camaro Defect:

  • 2010-2014 Chevrolet Camaro
  • Side Airbag Defect:
  • 2008-2013 Buick Enclave
  • 2009-2013 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2008-2013 GMC Acadia
  • 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook

Power Steering Defect:

  • 2004-2006 and 2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2004-2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx
  • 2009-2010 Chevrolet HHR
  • 2008-2010 Saturn Outlook
  • 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
  • 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 Pontiac G6
  • 2004-2007 Saturn ION
  • 2008-2009 Saturn Aura


The safety defect at the root of the loss in vehicle value was linked to fatalities and crashes. Hagens Berman continued its investigation into whether this defect exists in other models not yet recalled.

The safety defect involves the car’s ignition, which according to consumers, can switch off while in operation, disabling airbags and other electrical features such as power steering and power brakes. GM failed to alert consumers of the known risks they faced driving the vehicles, despite promising it would honor the federal reporting requirement of safety risks for all General Motors cars including assets purchased from the 2009 bankruptcy.

According to published reports and government documents, GM had knowledge of the serious defect as early as 2001, but critics charge that the company ignored warnings of the defect’s severity and did not warn consumers.

Reports published in 2005 state that GM issued a service bulletin for some GM vehicles, telling dealers to warn drivers to remove “unnecessary items from their key chains,” a warning that was extended a year later to a broader range of GM vehicles. Reports also state that GM said that it corrected the problem in new cars starting in 2007.


Class Settlement Approved

A class settlement requiring GM to pay $155 million was approved on Dec. 18, 2020. For more information about the settlement and to file your claim online, please visit the official settlement website at

GM Case Advances

Today, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York issued an extensive 108-page order allowing claims to move forward for GM owners. The ruling found that manifestation of the defect is not required in order to bring statutory consumer protection, common-law fraud, and implied warranty claims, and addressed the application of prior motion to dismiss opinions on the issues of unjust enrichment and incidental damages.

“We believe that the opinion will be helpful to plaintiffs’ efforts to certify classes and, ultimately, to prevail on the merits. This is a big win for the plaintiffs, as GM told the court this issue would be critical for either side and the ruling is squarely in plaintiffs’ favor.” — Steve W. Berman

Read the court’s opinion and order »

Case Update

On July 20, 2018, Hagens Berman filed a motion to certify bellwether classes in California, Missouri, and Texas. The motion asks the Court to recognize that GM economically harmed the owners of certain GM-brand vehicles affected by safety defects, including ignition switch, power steering, and airbag defects. Even though the class action alleges GM’s misconduct harmed vehicle owners nationwide, this class certification motion includes just three bellwether states to start. The bellwether process aims to resolve class certification for a smaller sample of states, and then apply these outcomes to the remaining states to minimize further litigation.

Statement from Steve W. Berman

Statement from Steve W. Berman regarding the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order, Signed on 1/18/2018, Regarding Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement by and Among the Signatory Plaintiffs and the GUC Trust:

"We are of course disappointed in the result but are thankful that the Court reviewed the issue so carefully and is committed to quickly resolving late claims motions. All parties will have to assess next steps, including whether Wilmington Trust should be removed as trustee given the Court’s unequivocal findings that Wilmington Trust acted in bad faith."

— Steve W. Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman
representing plaintiffs against GM

Read the court's order »

Case Update

Hagens Berman's Steve Berman in Court Fighting GM's Attempt to Kill $1B Ignition Switch Claims Settlement

Read more at Law360 (paywall) »

Statement from Steve W. Berman

“As the documents we filed demonstrate, all parties confirmed we had a deal and authorized us to share that deal with GM. GM then interfered with that deal, and we intend to take appropriate action against GM and possibly those who assisted GM in causing the GUC Trust to breach the contract. In addition, the GUC Trust is a fiduciary to all creditors, including our clients in this case who were denied due process by GM's concealment. The GUC Trust should be acting to protect claimants and not GM.”

— Steve W. Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman
representing plaintiffs against GM

Read the filed letter from plaintiffs' attorneys »

Supreme Court rejects GM bid to block ignition switch suits

On Apr. 24, 2017, the Supreme Court refused to hear GM’s appeal regarding the pending lawsuits concerning the deadly ignition-switch defect linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries. The automaker had claimed the lawsuits brought regarding the defect were barred by its 2009 bankruptcy. The court’s decision allows the cases to continue for plaintiffs represented by Hagens Berman.

Fourth Amended Complaint

Hagens Berman files fourth amended complaint against General Motors on behalf of hundreds of owners. Download complaint »

Major Victory: Appeals Court Reverses GM Bankruptcy Protection

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that General Motors (NYSE: GM) must face certain claims relating to cars made before its 2009 bankruptcy.

The ruling is a major victory for a class of millions of owners of GM-branded vehicles in the ignition switch multi-district litigation, claiming that the automaker’s series of recalls and cover-ups irrevocably damaged GM’s brand and led to significant loss of vehicle value. more »

Cooper Motion Denied

"We are gratified that the court found Mr. Cooper’s allegations to be without merit. The court’s ruling allows the Hagens Berman legal team to return to focusing on the cases we are leading against GM." —Steve W. Berman, Managing Partner Download order »   Read release »

Steve Berman Responds to Valukas Report:

Regarding GM's internal report from investigator Anton Valukas, Steve Berman responded, "We are disappointed, but at least we get the identification of the witnesses he interviewed who weren’t disclosed. I can also say that after we have been looking at the documents we will show that the Valukas report is flawed and is a serious misstatement of who knew what about the ignition switch defect at GM.”

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