April 23, 2020 / 5:13 PM / 2 months ago

GM ignition switch settlement with vehicle owners wins U.S. court approval

FILE PHOTO: The GM logo is seen at the General Motors plant in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Thursday won preliminary U.S. court approval of a $120 million settlement with owners who said defective ignition switches caused their vehicles to lose value.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan granted approval at a hearing conducted by phone.

The accord would resolve the last major piece of litigation over GM ignition switches linked to vehicle stalls and air bags that failed to deploy, as well as 124 deaths.

Final approval is still required, after owners are notified of their rights.

Since 2014, the defect has led GM to recall more than 2.6 million Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn vehicles, dating back more than a decade.

The Detroit-based automaker has also paid more than $2.6 billion in penalties and settlements.

GM would fund $70 million of the settlement, while a trust set up in connection with its 2009 bankruptcy would contribute $50 million. The automaker would pay the plaintiffs’ lawyers separately.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown

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