11. GM’s Ignition Switch Problem
GM was in the spotlight again in 2007, but not because of bankruptcy and their government bailout. This time, it was due to one of the worst cover-ups in recent years. The problem was a faulty ignition switch in many GM models, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5. In some cases, during the drive, the car would shut down completely, causing the driver to lose control and eventually crash.
But this wasn’t the worst part. When the ignition switch shut down, the engine also shut down the safety systems like the airbags and ABS brakes. This made the crash even worse since the passengers were left without protection. GM tried to cover things up by replacing the problematic part with an upgraded one, giving it the same part number. But eventually, reports of deaths and injuries started coming in, revealing the scandal.
The court cases are still active, and the death toll has risen to 124 people. However, GM is still trying to fight the case. Their main argument is that the faulty ignition switch is a part of the old GM and after the restructuring and government bailout, they are not the same company.