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Georgia attorney wants GM investigated over recall | Business

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Georgia attorney wants GM investigated over recall

MARIETTA, Ga. -- A Marietta attorney is asking the federal government to investigate General Motors over its latest recall involving faulty ignition switches of select model years of the Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5.

Attorney, Lance Cooper, who represented a Georgia family, who sued the company over the death of their daughter, says GM knew about the problem years ago.

Twenty-nine year-old Brooke Melton, from Hiram, died in a crash in Paulding County, in 2010, while driving her 2005 Chevy Cobalt.

"Brooke was driving the car that night with no idea she has a defective ignition switch in her vehicle," Cooper said.

He says the black box in her vehicle showed her ignition switch inadvertently shut off causing her to lose control of the vehicle.

"It was devastating. They were told initially, the accident was all Brooke's fault."

Just last week General Motors announced a recall of the ignition switches in 2005-2007 model years of the Chevy Cobalt, and the 2007 Pontiac G5, stating, 'a jarring event' may cause the ignition switch to move out of the "run" position.

"You lose your power steering. You lose your anti-lock brakes and you lose some of the lighting in the vehicle, " Cooper explained.

GM sent 11Alive News a statement about the cars. The company confirmed 24 crashes and 8 deaths, involving cars included within the recall. While not acknowledging Melton's crash, as one of those deaths, the company did settle the family's lawsuit last fall, without disclosing terms- then last week announced the recall.

When Cooper heard about the recall he fired off a letter to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, asking for a 'Timeliness Query' investigation stating, that testimony of GM engineers and documents produced in the lawsuit, showed the automaker knew about the defective ignition switch in 2004 before the Cobalt went to market.

"We realized they had minimized, number one, their knowledge of the problem - how long they'd known it, and number two, the scope of the problem."

GM emailed a response to 11Alive News stating: "If the NHTSA opens such an investigation, we would fully cooperate as we always do."

While the Brooke's family's case is settled they aren't giving up their fight.

"They're angry that GM didn't do something in 2004 to fix this ignition switch," said Cooper, "they want justice for their daughter but they also want this never to happen to another family again."