March 22, 2014 / 1:04 AM / 5 years ago

GM sued by investor over slow ignition fix

General Motors Co's new chief executive Mary Barra addresses the media during a roundtable meeting with journalists in Detroit, Michigan January 23, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/Pool

(Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) and its Chief Executive Mary Barra are being sued by an investor for failing to adequately address known defects in its cars that led to the recall of over 3.1 million vehicles, according to court documents.

The lawsuit filed by investor George Pio seeks unspecified damages from the carmaker claiming the recalls “triggered a sharp decline in the company’s share price, wiping out billions in shareholder value”. It also seeks class action status.

In the last two months, GM has recalled more than 3.1 million vehicles in the United States and other markets. The actions started with last month’s recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles for faulty ignition switches linked to 12 deaths.

The company had said it first learned of the defect in 2001, before the cars went into production.

The lawsuit filed in a federal court in Michigan on Friday claims that “GM’s illegal and immoral activities” during the period eroded the company’s reputation for safety and quality.

Barra is scheduled to testify on April 1 before a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating the company’s problem with the ignition switches.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the company on behalf of car owners affected by the recall.

The company’s shares have fallen 3 percent since the first recall was announced on February 7.

General Motors was not available for comment outside normal working hours.

Reporting by Rohit T. K. and Aman Shah in Bangalore

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