Important General Motors Airbag/Recall Alert!
In 2014, General Motors recalled 1.4 million cars because of faulty ignition switches. The most serious problems occurred in the Chevrolet Cobalt in model years 2005-2010 and the Saturn Ion in model years 2003-2007. More 400 people died as a result of the faulty ignition switches, which caused total power failures in those and other models, not only because the cars crashed without power but also because the airbags failed to deploy during those crashes.
Important Warning Video
Other makes and models were affected. So far, these include:
|GM Vehicle Brand & Make||Model Years Affected|
|Pontiac Grand Am||1999-2005|
|Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo||2000-2005|
|Pontiac Grand Prix||2004-2008|
There exists an internal memo from the files of General Motors that shows a service technician encountered the same power failure that causes the crashes. That memo is dated 2003. Two years previously, General Motors noted that the ignition switches in the Saturn Ion would sometimes slip from “run” to either “accessory” or “off.” The company tried an “in-the-field” fix, which was unsuccessful. In 2004, the company again saw the problem during test drives of the Cobalt. Thereafter, General Motors bean counters determined that the cost of recalling and fixing the defective cars was more than what they figured they would have to pay for the likely number of lawsuits they would face from injuries or deaths caused by the bad switches. Additionally, General Motors was confident that it could hide the fact that it knew about the switches beforehand if any accidents were to occur.
General Motors has also recalled millions of other cars for other reasons, some of which are related to the faulty ignition switches. Many of these recalled vehicles had serious problems, such as fires, brake rotors that would suddenly and inexplicably detach, and tie rods that would fall apart. In some cases, General Motors has said it will not pay for repairs on some cars that were not in the original batch of recalled vehicles but that still have the ignition switch problem.
In California, a class action suit is brewing that seeks redress for the injuries and deaths of 13 specific people spread across nine states. The suit also seeks damages to compensate car owners whose General Motors vehicles have lost value because of the multiple recalls even if their specific cars weren’t part of the recall.
Almost 40 years ago, the Ford Motor Company similarly ignored a fuel-explosion danger to drivers as can be seen in the infamous “Pinto Memo,” which outlined the same strategy of “pay the lawsuits instead of the recall bills.” In Grimshaw v. Ford Motor Company, which was one of the 117 lawsuits on the Pinto issue adjudicated in 1978, the award was $127.8 million. That was the largest of its kind up until that time. Because the Pinto case, which was upheld on appeal, is seen as seminal, current lawyers hope its precedent will weigh heavily on their side in the current class action against General Motors.
If one has been affected by the General Motors recall and wishes to seek advice on how to proceed, one should contact the Pulaski Kherkher PLLC.
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