General Motors Attorney Richard Godfrey has asked U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to dismiss what it considers to be “unprecedented” claims filed against the company on behalf of millions of customers.
In the class action lawsuits, the plaintiffs are seeking compensation for losses they say they endured as a result of more than 70 recalls issued in 2014. The estimated total value of the claims is $10 billion.
Steve Berman, a lawyer acting on behalf of the plaintiffs, indicated at a hearing on Friday that the “avalanche of defects” negatively affected GM’s reputation and would lower the resale value of vehicles.
GM has countered the theory, maintaining that if the lawsuits were successful, they would establish a precedent that would make manufacturers vulnerable to liability any time a recall was conducted. “This is not opening the door, it is destroying the door frame,” Godfrey said.
GM issued more than 70 recalls following its investigation into defective ignition switches. Since that time, the company has paid $2 billion in penalties and settlements.