DETROIT (AP) — General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen and Mercedes all knew of problems with dangerous exploding Takata air bag inflators years before issuing recalls, according to three class actions filed Wednesday with the federal court in Miami.
The lawsuits cite company documents obtained through previous legal actions against other automakers over faulty Takata inflators. The plaintiffs allege that automakers were informed of inflator defects during tests but delayed taking action. Allegations against GM are among the most serious. Takata documents showed that GM employees expressed concerns about inflators rupturing as early as 2003.
GM on Wednesday called the lawsuit “baseless and without merit” and said it misstates “a host of material facts.” The company said it would defend itself vigorously. Mercedes-Benz called the allegations unfounded, and Fiat Chrysler declined comment, saying it had not been served with a copy. Messages were left Wednesday seeking comment from VW.