Ignition assembly

A closely watched civil trial over damages related to faulty GM ignition switches is set to kick off in New York on Monday. (CBC)

A civil trial is set to start in New York that will test the boundaries of hundreds of claims remaining against General Motors over faulty ignition switches.

A section of a car sits in a Manhattan federal courtroom where jury selection begins Monday in a case involving an Oklahoma crash that injured the driver.

It's the first of six trials scheduled over the next year to narrow legal issues in lawsuits affecting more than 1,000 people.

The trials will begin with the claims of Robert Scheuer, of Tulsa. His lawyer says a defective ignition switch prevented air bags from deploying when his car smashed into trees.

General Motors spokesman Jim Cain says the air bags weren't designed to deploy the way the car struck the ground before landing among trees.