The lawsuit was filed late on Friday in Minnesota state court on behalf of three teenage girls who were severely injured or killed in a 2006 crash involving a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, one of the models GM recalled over ignition problems.
GM announced the recall in February, despite learning of problems with the ignition switch in 2001 and issuing related service bulletins to dealers with suggested remedies in 2005. GM has apologized for how it handled the recall.
The lawsuit accuses GM of knowing about the defect for a decade but failing to take steps to fix the vehicles or get them off the roads.
"GM hid this dangerous, life-threatening defect from my clients and all other Cobalt drivers for over a decade just to avoid the cost of a recall," said a lawyer for the families, Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales, in a statement. "GM is guilty of betraying our trust."
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