Four days before a crucial hearing, lawyers announced a surprise settlement Friday for a Georgia couple suing General Motors on claims that an ignition switch defect killed their daughter.

The amount and terms are confidential, according to lawyers for Ken and Beth Melton. Their lawsuit over the 2010 death of Brooke Melton, 29, ultimately identified an ignition defect that caused cars to stall at highway speeds, leading to recalls of millions of cars with the faulty switch and launching an avalanche of similar suits.

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