The GM ignition switch recall for the Chevrolet Cobalt, Saturn Ion, Pontiac Solstice, Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Sky, and Pontiac G5 is the latest automobile recall in the news, but it isn’t the first recall of this type. And it may not be the last.
Investigations have shown that General Motors knew of the problems with the ignition switches in millions of cars long before recalling the vehicles. The faulty ignition switches caused the engines of the affected vehicles to turn off during operation, which also prevented airbags from operating and disabled power steering and power brakes.
Congressional investigators are looking into what contributed to GM’s delay in acting on the ignition switch problems, including whether cost considerations were at play. It would have cost GM 90 cents per unit to replace the defective part. A July 2013 e-mail from Frank Borris, the head of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Office of Defects Investigation, stated that GM was more difficult to work with than other automakers and cited numerous points on which NHTSA disagreed with GM on safety issues. GM’s tragic delay in recalling these vehicles has been linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and endangered the public.
The GM ignition switch recall is tragic and shocking. What’s more, defective products are not necessarily always recalled.
Over the years, the attorneys at Murphy & Prachthauser have handled a number of products liability cases involving cars including rollover roof crush cases, seatbelt defects, and false park – where the car rolls when it appears to be in park, just to name a few. In many of these cases, the cars were never recalled, but nevertheless, the vehicle was found to have a defect that injured the plaintiff or plaintiffs.
What should you do if your car is subject to a recall?
When a car has been recalled, it is essential to respond to the recall notice. If you are unsure whether your car has been subject to a recall, go to www.recalls.gov to check the recall status of your car.
If you have been involved in an accident and you suspect your crash may have been due to a malfunction or a defective part, the manufacturer may be liable for your injuries. An experienced products liability personal injury attorney can help determine whether you have a claim against an auto manufacturer for a defective part or vehicle.