June 23, 2017 / 6:27 PM / 4 months ago

GM settles hundreds of ignition switch lawsuits

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) has agreed to settle federal lawsuits by as many as 203 plaintiffs over defective ignition switches in its vehicles, a Friday court filing shows.

The GM logo is seen in Warren, Michigan, U.S. on October 26, 2015. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

Settlement terms are confidential, but the accord could also resolve hundreds of state court claims, as well, lawyers for the automaker said in the filing in Manhattan federal court.

Lawyers for the settling plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment. A GM spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

GM has been defending against hundreds of lawsuits over faulty ignition switches that could cause engines to stall and prevent airbags from deploying in crashes.

The defect has been linked to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, and prompted a recall that began in February 2014.

GM has paid about $2.5 billion in penalties and settlements related to the defect.

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that blocked GM’s effort to scuttle many private lawsuits.

The Detroit-based automaker had argued that its 2009 bankruptcy reorganization excused it from addressing earlier defects.

GM’s lawyers said they are working with the plaintiffs’ lawyers to complete documentation within the next month for the settlement, whose terms “will take some time” to implement.

The case is In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-md-02543.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Zieminski

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