Annie Cosby Jun. 19, 2014, 4:00pm

Several Texas and Louisiana residents are suing over claims General Motors concealed safety defects in the Saturn Ion.

Candice Anderson, Rhonda Erickson, individually and as representative of the estate of Gene Mikale Erickson, deceased, and Vania Rose Vaughn as next friend for Siara Rose and Savana Raines Erickson, minors, filed a lawsuit June 9 in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas against General Motors LLC, citing fraud.

According to the complaint, Anderson and Gene Mikale Erickson were injured in a single-vehicle crash of a 2004 Saturn Ion driven by Anderson on Nov. 15, 2004, and Erickson's injuries ultimately proved fatal.

Anderson says she was forced to plead guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide because there was no explanation as to why her vehicle veered off the road, but in 2014, she became aware of safety defects GM had previously kept from the court and public despite knowledge as early as 2001.

The complaint states GM knew of a defect in which the Saturn Ion caused the key to turn from the run to accessory/off position, which results in decreased steering and brake control and also causes airbags not to deploy.

General Motors is accused of fraud, constructive fraud, fraudulent concealment and fraud in the inducement and conspiracy.

The plaintiffs are seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

They are being represented in the case by attorneys Robert C. Hilliard, Rudy Gonzales Jr., Catherine D. Tobin and Marion Reilly of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP and Thomas J. Henry in Corpus Christ.

Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 6:14-cv-00538

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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