n in Houston.
Zachary Stevens and his parents sued General Motors on the grounds that a faulty ignition switch in Stevens’ Saturn Sky was knocked out of position, cutting off power and causing him to lose control, bouncing off a guardrail and crossing a center line to hit another vehicle, killing its driver.
GM lawyers argued that Stevens was driving recklessly on a rainy road when the accident occurred. They also showed the jury that the key Stevens' lawyer presented as evidence was not the key that operated the car at the time of the accident.
The 2007 Saturn Sky was among nearly 2.6 million small cars GM recalled in 2014 because it was equipped with an ignition switch that was poorly designed and which, in some cases, could be bumped from "on" to "accessory" position from the weight on a key chain or by accidental contact with the driver's leg.
GM has replaced the switches on most of those vehicles. This is the third case related to the defective ignition switches that the automaker has won this year.
“We asked the jury to evaluate Zach Stevens’ case on the facts and they did," GM said in a statement. "What happened was simple and tragic: This was a high-speed side-impact crash on a wet road caused by an extremely reckless young man who tried to pass cars on the right shoulder and lost control."
The Stevens' lawsuit was one of several ignition-switch "bellwether" cases brought by people who either rejected or chose not to pursue settlements through a special compensation fund.
Administrators of that fund eventually awarded about $595 million to families of 124 people who died in accidents caused by the defective ignition switches and about 275 surviving victims who sustained significant injuries.
Separately, GM paid $900 million in 2015 to settle a federal criminal investigation of the defective ignition switch crisis, and settled about 1,380 pendin