Earlier this year, GM recalled over 2.6 million older, small vehicles due to faulty ignition switches. The defective ignition switches can slip out of the “run” position, shutting off the engine and disabling the power steering and brakes. This can cause drivers to lose control of the car. It will also disable air bags so that they will not inflate in a crash. The faulty switch is linked to at least 54 crashes and more than 13 deaths.
Months later, the ignition switch recall widened to include another 3.4 million vehicles. Those included in this recall were older, larger model cars. GM revealed that the switches used in these larger vehicles, which are in fact different from the ones involved in the small vehicle recall, can be knocked out of the “run” position by the force of a large bump. A heavy or swinging keychain can also trigger this dangerous switch in the ignition. This ignition switch is linked to at least eight crashes and six injuries.
The following vehicles are involved in the recall:
- Chevrolet Cobalt, 2005-2007
- Chevrolet HHR, 2006-2007
- Pontiac G5, 2005-2007
- Pontiac Solstice, 2006-2007
- Saturn Ion, 2003-2007
- Saturn Sky, 2007
- Buick Lacrosse, 2005-2009
- Chevrolet Impala, 2006-2014
- Cadillac DTS, 2004-2011
- Cadillac Deville, 2000-2005
- Buick Regal GS & LS, 2004-2005
- Buick Lucerne, 2006-2011
- Chevy Monte Carlo, 2006-2008
The number of lawsuits filed against GM continues to increase, as the ignition switch has been linked to more and more accidents. A series of investigations are underway and significant evidence as to GM’s longstanding knowledge of the problem has been revealed. It appears that GM knew the ignition switch was faulty in 2001, but failed to issue a recall or otherwise alert vehicle owners to the problem. In 2005, GM engineers developed a partial fix to the problem that would have cost a mere $1 per vehicle. GM, however, elected not to make the repair.
GM is working to replace the ignition switch in some defective vehicles and the key for others. It is attempting to devise a plan to compensate automobile accident victims who were injured as a result of the defective ignition switch, however details of the plan have not been released. GM’s 2009 bankruptcy may become a factor in the proposed settlement, as GM could attempt to dodge liability for accidents occurring prior to this time.
This year alone, GM has recalled an astonishing 20 million vehicles in 44 different recalls. GM has been fined over $35 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for concealing the ignition switch problems. The company estimates its recall related costs to exceed $2 billion this year. The cost of each replacement switch for the small recalled vehicles is .57 cents.
Contact Kansas City Defective Automobile Accident Attorney Michael R. Lawless Today for a Free Consultation
The Lenexa, Kansas GM Recall Attorneys at the law firm of Michael R. Lawless, P.A. urge anyone who has been injured in a crash that may have involved a faulty ignition system to contact our firm immediately. Our attorneys have over 27 years experience in the field of defective automobile accidents, and will examine your crash to determine if it was caused by a defective or recalled automobile part. We will then guide you towards a full recovery. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential defective automobile case, contact Kansas Personal Injury Attorney Michael R. Lawless, PA by calling our office locally at (913) 681-5566, or you may call us toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.