Lawsuit Claims GM Knew About Deadly Cobalt Problems 10 Years Ago


On Feb. 13, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of 619,122 model-year 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 compact cars due to a problem that had already been cited as a factor in five crashes resulting in six fatalities. Now, USA Today is reporting that GM knew a full decade earlier about the ignition-switch defect that could cause the cars' engines to shut off while driving and cut off power steering, brakes and safety systems such as airbags.

Chevrolet Cobalt Has Long Recall History

At least one GM engineer experienced the problem while testing the new car, which went on sale in 2004 as a 2005 model, according to documents from the lawsuit over a crash that killed a 29-year-old woman outside Atlanta in 2010. Pediatric nurse Brooke Melton was driving a Cobalt she had bought new in 2005. She had taken the car to a dealer for ignition-switch problems and had just picked it up the day before her crash.

"GM created a snap-on key cover to try to help with the ignition issue and advised dealers in a 2005 technical service bulletin to install the part if owners complained," the newspaper reported. "Melton's car never got one, and GM did not recall the cars for a mandatory fix until last week."

Read the rest of the story by USA Today, here.

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Will you be posting on all lawsuits involving negligence claims on a manufacturer?

Ken L., I'd like to know why comments stop appearing once they've reach 100. Clearly there are many other postings regarding the Grand Cherokee's recall that are not appearing due to this limitation. As a consumer site, could you please fix this? Thank you.


GM is already in my list of brands to avoid, Ford and Chrysler are the other two. not trying to offend any loyalist. Each to their own

I currently drives a 2006 Chevy Colbalt. And I have had my car in the shop at least 3 times so far for my powersterning wheel. That is getting harder and harder for turining. This is my only means of getting to work. I had taken my car to GM and all I was told was its just a relay witch that has gone out. In correct my power stern wheel is electric there is no switch. I am not to killing anyone or my children while driving my car. How can I get the correct assistance as needed from GM.


Cynthia, it is out of warranty. Good luck...
It has EPS, so I am doubtful that only a relay switch was out. Your best bet is to ask another dealer and see if there is anything they can help...

Troy S.

If true, this knowledge would have put it pre-bailout. What else is hiding in GM's fleet from that era?


WTF- what are you trying to imply with your question? certainly covered Toyota's unintended acceleration story; do you perceive bias?

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