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EARLIER this month, Renee was driving her 2013 Toyota Rav 4 home from work in the middle of Sydney peak-hour traffic.

Halfway through a roundabout, two alerts came up on the dash before the engine completely shut itself down and wouldn’t start again. The traffic started backing up and abuse started flying.

It was 10 minutes until she could get some help from people to push her car out of the roundabout to the side of the road.

Since February, General Motors has recalled more than 26 million cars worldwide because of faulty ignition switches, which could and often did stop the engine. GM had known about the problem for more than 10 years.

No one in authority from GM, the government or the regulators revealed the problem. It took a small-time US lawyer from Marietta, Georgia, Lance Cooper, to bring GM to its knees. Cooper had been hired by the family of 29-year-old Brooke Melton, who was killed when her Chevy Cobalt lost power and ran into an oncoming car.

Cooper delved through more than 30,000 pages of GM documents from the company, deposed about a dozen of its engineers and gathered assessments of the ignition issue from dealers. According to some of the depositions, reviewed by Bloomberg News, the defect was known to some dealers, engineers and managers since at least 2004. It was clear some at GM knew about the problem from when the ignition switch was designed.

Click here to keep reading: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/executive-living/motoring/how-toyota-and-general-motors-keep-drivers-of-faulty-cars-waiting/story-fngmee2f-1227099910956

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