Today a federal judge rejected a request made by attorneys for owners of recalled GM vehicles. They wanted to force the automaker to issue notices requiring all of the vehicles involved in the recall to be taken off the road entirely.

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GM says cars safe to drive—if…

Reuters reports that drivers had been seeking an emergency order to remove the vehicles from the nation’s roads, saying that they are just too dangerous. General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) insists that the vehicles are safe to be driven, as long as nothing is added to the key while it is in the ignition. The recall of millions of vehicles was due to problems with the ignition switch, which GM has apparently known about for some time.

GM’s latest defense

According to CNN Fortune, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s latest defense is that the company drivers have been seeking to sue no longer exists. The automaker wants a federal judge to put off a lawsuit vehicle owners filed against it in connection with injuries and damages from the faulty ignition switches.

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) claims that it is immune from legal liability for what it did before it filed for bankruptcy in 2009. If the court rules in favor of GM on this matter, the automaker could be protected from numerous lawsuits which would be filed by those who were injured because of the problems with the ignition switches. There were 2.6 million Chevy Cobalts, Saturn Ions and a number of other small cars involved in the recall. GM states that the faulty ignition switch has been linked to 13 fatalities and 31 accidents.

GM knew of a problem in 2001

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) admits to knowing that it first detected potential problems with the switch as early as 2001. As a result, attorneys for the plaintiffs are expected to argue that the automaker should not be immune from lawsuits because it was aware of the defect before its bankruptcy filing in 2009 and should have disclosed the issue as part of that filing.