For more than a decade, General Motors hid defects in its trucks and SUVs that prevented airbags from deploying and seatbelts from tightening during crashes, drivers said in a Michigan federal court class action that attempts to represent “millions” across a period dating back to 2009.
The drivers allege that a National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration dataset shows that at least 1,298 people were killed or injured in frontal collisions during which the airbags in the class vehicles did not deploy. GM vehicles such as the Silverado, Tahoe, Astro and Trailblazer have been manufactured with an issue in their sensing and diagnostic modules, or SDMs, that prevent airbag and seatbelt deployment just 45 milliseconds after a crash begins, creating dangerous and sometimes fatal outcomes in crashes that last longer than that period.
The putative nationwide class alleges GM committed unjust enrichment and fraud by concealment,contain a mounting dataset of classes involving the SDM defect, ignoring a slew of personal injury laws for airbag failures which were publicly reported to the NHTSA, and history of sweeping defects under the rug in an attempt to avoid a recall.
The drivers seek unspecified damages.
The drivers aim to represent anyone in the U.S. or its territories that bought or leased vehicles with allegedly faulty SDM systems, dating back to the new GM’s formation in July 2009. In addition to a nationwide class, the drivers propose state classes in California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.