An independent used-car dealer in Arkansas is seeking compensation from General Motors Co. for being saddled with “highly dangerous vehicles” that include cars not yet recalled over ignition-switch defects.
Nettleton Auto Sales Inc. demanded actual and punitive damages on behalf of all of U.S. dealers that have sold, leased or stocked defective GM vehicles, according to a complaint filed May 23 in federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas. GM disclosed the lawsuit yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
GM “actively” concealed the ignition-switch defect until this year, Nettleton alleged. Detroit-based GM has recalled 2.59 million cars to repair the switches while blaming 13 deaths on the defect, which could unintentionally cut engine power and deactivate air bags.
“Plaintiff believes that there are other GM vehicles which suffer from the same or substantially similar ignition switch defects as the defective vehicles identified” on GM’s recall list, Nettleton said. The additional vehicles will be added later to the list of cars causing the dealer losses, according to the complaint.
GM doesn’t comment on litigation, spokesman Kevin Kelly said by phone.
The lawsuit is Nettleton Auto Sales Inc. v. General Motors LLC, 14-cv-00318, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock).