GM has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The bankruptcy filing is the third largest in US history, following banking giant Lehman Brothers' collapse and the failure of telecoms giant WorldCom.
The 24-page filing reportedly listed $82.3 billion in assets and $172.8 billion in debts.
The documents list the company's largest creditors, including a trust company that holds more than $22 billion in bond debt. The United Auto Workers union is owed $20.5 billion.
Spin-off supplier, Delphi Corp is owed $110 million, while other large banks issued a total of $5 billion in debt. There are a number of other large car suppliers among its 50 largest creditors.
GM will use the court protection to split in two - "Old GM", with all the "bad" assets like defunct car plants - and "New GM", which will own the "good" assets, such as viable factories and brands like Chevrolet and Cadillac.
It is expected to use the bankruptcy protection application to announce it will close 11 plants and idle three others.
"Today marks a defining moment in the reinvention of GM as a leaner, more customer-focused, and more cost-competitive company that, above all, can quickly generate winning bottom line results," said Fritz Henderson, GM president and CEO. "The economic crisis has caused enormous disruption in the auto industry, but with it has come the opportunity for us to reinvent our business. We are going to do it once and do it right.