Phoenix attorney files lawsuit over GM ignition switches

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by Carey Peña

azfamily.com

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 4:51 PM

PHOENIX -- Millions of car owners are demanding answers after the General Motors scandal dubbed "Switchgate."

A Valley woman says a problem that GM admits to hiding for more than a decade put her in serious danger.

"Very scary. Fortunately I was going slow at the time but If I had been going on the highway, very frightening," said GM car owner Grace Belford.

Belford said she will never forget the moment she nearly lost control of her Chevrolet Cobalt.

"The car just kind of bounced a little bit and then everything stopped. My radio went off," said Belford.

She's been driving a rental car ever since that incident.

Belford recently discovered that she's been driving around for years with a faulty ignition switch. Her heavy keychain was a big risk. It caused the ignition switch to slip, turning her engine off while she was on the road.

"I had the car for nine years. I feel nine years I was in danger," said Belford.

Phoenix-based attorney Rob Carey filed a class-action lawsuit against General Motors on behalf of car owners like Belford.

"They had tremendous knowledge of this problem and yet they chose not take the vehicles off the street," said Carey. "It's unsafe to have your car cut out on you when you're traveling at 40, 50, 60 miles an hour."

Carey's firm took on Toyota and won $1.2 billion after the car company failed to disclose dangerous problems to consumers.

General Motors has been forced to admit that engineers and officials at the company knew the ignition switch in some vehicles is faulty. When the switch fails the engine gets cut off and the airbags are disabled.

There is a simple fix for the problem but some of the parts are back-ordered and delayed up to six months meaning drivers are still in danger.

GM did not respond to a request for comment on the Arizona lawsuit.

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GM recall fix only costs 57 cents, but is delayed weeks

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