Many small vehicles have a GM ignition switch installed that has a defect that could lead to serious and life changing vehicle crashes. As a result of the severity associated with this defect, fatalities and injuries have been reported. You may be entitled to recover compensation after speaking with a defective product attorney to determine your rights.
Beginning in 2001, models of vehicles under several different GM brands, including Cobalt, Impala and others were designed and produced with a particular ignition switch by GM that was found to have a serious flaw. The car could unexpectedly shut off while in gear as a result of this defect, endangering the lives of the individuals inside the car and others on the road. An ignition switch is a critical component of a control system in a vehicle. When a vehicle key is inside the ignition switch to start the primary electrical systems, the ignition switch may also be connected with the starter switch to activate the vehicle’s motor. Accidents can occur due to the ignition switch problem, giving drivers little or no time to respond.
Safety Concerns Associated with GM’s Ignition Switch
GM is responsible for the installation of numerous faulty ignition switches across many different vehicle models. The engine could accidently shut off as a result of a faulty ignition switch while the vehicle is in use. This could disable the brakes, prevent airbags from deploying and cause the loss of power steering. The key might even be removed from the ignition switch in certain situations, in when the switch is turned to “off”. This could lead to the vehicle rolling away for both manual and automatic transmissions.
As a result of these serious safety concerns and a rising number of reports of devastating vehicle accidents caused by the faulty GM ignition switches, more consumers are considering filing lawsuits in order to protect themselves going forward.
The subsidiary automaker for GM has installed faulty ignition switches in models such as Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Saturn, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. Although certain brands and models have been discontinued since GM had filed for bankruptcy in 2009 in the financial crisis, some vehicles may still have the faulty ignition switch that could compromise the lives of everyone inside the car.
Serious Injuries and Death Associated with GM’s Faulty Ignition Switches
Passengers and drivers have died as well as suffered critical injuries in those vehicles with a faulty ignition switch. When the ignition switch turns of accidently, the car loses numerous functions that can lead to an off road accident or a collision. In situations in which the key has been taken out of the ignition switch and the switch is not in the off position, the vehicle may also roll away, increasing risk of a crash or injuries. Approximately 124 deaths have already been reported in connection with the GM faulty ignition switch. As additional affected models are identified, the death toll could rise.
Recalls for GM Faulty Ignition Switches
The issues associated with faulty ignition switches led to a recall in 2014 of nearly 800,000 vehicles across numerous automotive brands. As more information came out regarding this issue and as more models are identified to have contained the problematic ignition switch, GM continued to expand their recall to new additional models, model years and brands. Over 30 million cars have been impacted by this recall currently.
Numerous regulatory branches of the U.S. Federal Government are responsible for overseeing GM ignition switch safety, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Justice. The General Motors had to pay $900 million to the DoJ in 2015 as part of a settlement to accept responsibility for previous knowledge about these dangerous ignition switches. Many lawsuits have already begun against GM regarding the serious injuries or deaths associated with passengers and drivers in these situations.
These cases were transferred to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in an ongoing MDL docket. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident like this, you may be entitled to recover compensation after consulting with an experienced defective product attorney. Our firm is currently investigating claims from clients who have been injured due to a faulty ignition switch.