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General Motors’ deadly ignition switch flaws emerged from an effort to improve its cars. As the company began developing new small cars in the late 1990s, it listened to customers who complained about “cheap-feeling” switches that required too much effort to turn. GM set about making switches that would work more smoothly and give drivers the impression that they were better designed, a GM switch engineer testified in a lawsuit deposition in the spring of 2013. The switches, though, were too loose, touching off events that led to at least 13 deaths, more than 50 crashes and a raft of legal trouble for the Detroit automaker.



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