Delphi Hands Over Ignition Switch Lawsuit DocumentsNovember 14, 2014
Auto parts manufacturer Delphi Automotive has agreed to hand over thousands of pages of documents to plaintiff’s attorneys in the massive GM ignition switch lawsuit. Delphi has also agreed to allow plaintiff’s attorneys to interview employees about the faulty ignition switches. In return, the attorneys have agreed to drop Delphi as a defendant in the ignition switch lawsuit. The agreement stems from a desire from both sides to shorten the pre-trial discovery process and speed up the proceedings.
Deaths, Injuries Spur Ignition Switch Lawsuit
The major ignition switch lawsuit stems from a flaw in the switches Delphi manufactured from the late 1990s to the present day. These defective switches were installed in nearly 3 million General Motors vehicles. The switches would move from the “ON” to the “ACC” position, causing the vehicle to lose power. Drivers would lose control of the vehicles and the airbags would fail to deploy in a collision. GM has paid out 32 ignition switch lawsuit claims to the families of drivers who were killed in accidents related to the flaw, as well as 35 more claims to injured drivers.
Claims Mount In Ignition Switch Lawsuit
The automaker still faces thousands of claims in the various ignition switch lawsuits. Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney retained by the automaker, currently oversees a claims fund for victims filing ignition switch lawsuits. The fund has received more than 200 death claims and more than 1,600 injury claims. The claims fund has been estimated at between $400 million and $600 million. Claims related to fatal accidents are expected to receive a minimum payout of $1 million, with additional amounts disbursed to the victims’ families.
Delphi Dropped From Ignition Switch Lawsuit
Since Delphi was the primary manufacturer of the defective switch, the company was also one of the major targets of the ignition switch lawsuits. The documents the company gave to plaintiffs’ attorneys include emails showing that GM filed an order for 500,000 replacement switches in December 2013. The order came less than two months before the automaker issued a recall for vehicles containing the defective switches. Both the parts manufacturer and the plaintiffs’ attorneys cited a confidentiality agreement surrounding the terms of dropping Delphi from the ignition switch lawsuit.
Ignition Switch Lawsuit Highlights “Incompetence and Neglect”
Plaintiff’s attorneys are expected to depose GM employees for the ignition switch lawsuit either late this year or early 2015. The depositions will include testimony from company attorneys, engineers and possibly current and former executives. Current GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra cited “a pattern of incompetence and neglect” by employees and management who responded to the recall and the subsequent ignition switch lawsuit. The behavior involved in the handling of the switch failure led to the firing of at least 15 engineers and attorneys.
Source: Automotive News
Know Your Rights in an Ignition Switch Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with an ignition switch lawsuit, contact us today at 877-892-2797. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to an ignition switch lawsuit attorney. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.