General Motors hopes to avoid a lawsuit in Texas over the automaker’s faulty ignition switches, and the company is asking the court to dismiss the case because of allegedly falsified evidence by the plaintiff.
Zachary Stevens was behind the wheel of a 2007 Saturn Sky in 2011 when he was involved in a crash that killed another driver. He alleged that the accident happened because the ignition shut off, and he lost control of the roadster. As proof, his lawyers showed the court his keychain loaded with heavy items. Weighty objects pulling down on the switch were known to exacerbate the problem with the switches.
However, GM’s lawyers contend the key on the chain doesn’t work in Stevens’ vehicle. According to Reuters, the automaker's side either wants the judge to throw out the case completely or tell jurors to disregard the testimony related to these claims. There is no final decision yet.
Over two years after 2014’s massive ignition switch recall, GM continues to deal with the legal ramifications from it. In the aftermath, the company agreed to $935 million in fines from the U.S. government and years of extra oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also rejected the company’s distinction between its pre- and post-bankruptcy forms, which opened up the possibility of more litigation. According to Reuters, the total criminal and civil penalties because of the faulty switches total around $2 billion.