Over a dozen people have died in fatal accidents linked to GM’s faulty ignition switches since the early 2000’s, which raises the question: Why did it take almost 15 years to issue a recall on the defective part? According to a GM memo, the automaker was aware of the faulty switches as early as 2002, but still approved them, despite the fact that the “sample testing of the ignition switch torque was below the original specifications set by GM.”
The ignition switches had a tendency to switch from “on” to “accessory” or “off” positions while driving. The issue resulted in over 30 accidents; however, the cost to repair the ignition switches was deemed too steep to justify a recall, according to GM documents. Sadly, GM continued to investigate the issue in 2005 after a string of ignition-related accidents involving Chevy Cobalts, but ultimately made no action.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also implicated in the debacle. In 2005, the NHTSA began investigating issues related to the Cobalt but failed to pinpoint a “discernible trend and decided not to pursue a more formal investigation,” according to the memo. Subsequent investigations were opened in 2006, 2009 and 2010, none of which were ever concluded.
In an effort to turn a corner for the age old automaker, GM’s new CEO, Mary Barra, has issued a recall on all implicated vehicles, a whopping 2.6 million cars worldwide. GM now faces the wrath of the NHTSA, multiple congressional committees and the Justice Department as it owns up to over a decade of systematic negligence.
I Need A Product Liability Attorney In San Diego
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident as a result of a defective part, there are a number of different sources that can be found liable. You could sue the automaker, the individual part manufacturer, the distributor, the vendor or the used car dealership. Knowing which is liable in your particular circumstance requires traversing a complicated legal web. So leave the busy work to us, the Dudek Law Firm, APC. We will work tirelessly to secure your compensation so that you can focus on your health and recovery. Call our firm today to speak to one of our attorneys about your experience.
[Did You Know: A new bill, the Early Warning Reporting System Improvement Act, would require the NHTSA to disclose all ongoing investigations.]
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego car accident attorney