Many victims allege that General Motors put profits ahead of human safety and endangered the lives of countless innocent motorists by failing to issue a recall for defective ignition switches. GM paid $900 million dollars to the United States as part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. They were admittedly in violation of the TREAD Act
(Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act), a Federal statute that requires automotive manufacturers to act with due diligence in notifying dealers, owners, and prospective buyers of the defect. GM employees submitted documents to Congress that proved that they knew about the defects in nearly 30 million recalled vehicles
as far back as 2005. The congressional documents
prove that they even held meetings in 2005 to discuss the problem but decided a recall would be too expensive. It is estimated that it would have cost GM as little as 57 cents per vehicle to issue a recall in 2005 when they admitted knowledge of the problem.
- Gm Ignition defects recall
- GM Recall
- Ignition Switch defect
GM Settlement | Catastrophic Injuries related to GM Ignition Defects Recalls
To date, more than 124 wrongful death cases have been compensated and settled. Despite the high degree of culpability, over 90 percent of the claims filed for compensation by individual motorists were rejected. Only 399 of the most serious injuries that involved amputation, severe burns, brain damage, and hospitalization were compensated.
Types of Accidents Eligible for Compensation | General Motors
If you were ever injured in a GM vehicle that was manufactured within the last 10 years, it may be one of the 30 million vehicles with faulty ignition switch defects. If the front airbags failed to deploy or the vehicle suddenly lost power, the accidents could be traced directly to the faulty ignition switches. At first, the cases were limited to those where the airbags had failed or a head-on collision resulted. Other cases demonstrated that the engine suddenly shutting off also caused accidents related to hydroplaning, braking, and steering. Power brakes rely upon the vacuum pressure produced by the engine to function. Power steering is powered by a hydraulic pump that is driven by the engine through a system of belts and pulleys.
This may have been a case of planned obsolescence that backfired. GM may have intentionally engineered the stability of the switch to fail by designing it below its own standard operating guidelines. Planned obsolescence is a common trend in the automotive industry. The ignition switch was held into place after startup by an “ignition switch detent plunger” that failed to maintain the sufficient mechanical resistance needed to prevent accidental disengagement. It could theoretically vibrate loose on a rough road, in harsh weather, an accident, or when sudden braking is required most.
GM Vehicles Recalled
The list of recalled vehicles that they continued to produce with defective switches, from earliest to latest ranges:
• Chevrolet Malibu (1997–2005)
• Oldsmobile Intrique (1998–2002)
• Oldsmobile Alero (1999–2004)
• Pontiac Grand Am (1999–2005)
• Cadillac Deville (2000–2005)
• Chevrolet Monte Carlo (2000–2007)
• Chevrolet Impala (2000–2014)
• Saturn Vue (2002–2004)
• Cadillac CTS (2003–2014)
• Buick Regal GS (2004–2005)
• Buick Regal LS (2004–2005)
• Cadillac SRX (2004–2006)
• Cadillac SRX (2004–2006)
• Pontiac Grand Prix (2004–2008)
• Cadillac DTS (2004–2011)
• Buick Allure (2005–2009)
• Buick LaCrosse (2005–2009)
• Daewoo G2X (2007–2009)
• Opel GT (2007–2010)
• Vauxhall GT (2007–2010)
• Pontiac G8 (2008 – 2009)
• Chevrolet Camaro (2010–2014)
• Chevrolet Caprice (2011 – 2013)
• Buick Lucerne (all)
• Chevrolet Cobalt (all)
• Chevrolet HHR (all)
• Pontiac G5 (all)
• Pontiac Pursuit (all)
• Pontiac Solstice (all)
• Saturn Ion (all)
• Saturn Sky (all)
An ongoing problem exists because recall repairs are not being carried out by a majority of owners. It is difficult for owners to pay attention to notifications they may receive by mail. This may have been part of the GM strategy in waiting for a large amount of time to pass because fewer owners would be alerted of the recalls. Most owners only pay attention to recalls when their vehicles are still under warranty and they are already at the dealership for mandated factory service. If the dealership alerts them while they are there, that is about the only time they carry out recall repairs. This means that there are still many unsafe vehicles on the roads endangering the public.
Compensation, GM ignition switch lawsuit
The trend for compensation in the GM class action lawsuit settlement case appears to be based upon documented serious injuries that are intrinsically linked to the ignition switch. A number of claims may have already been litigated through insurance companies and settled. These cases may be liable for compensation even if the settlement would open issues previously litigated based on the discovery of new evidence and fraud theories. Wrongful death claim compensation starts at $1 million.
If you believe you were injured in one of these ignition-related incidents, time is of the essence. It is important to contact an accident attorney who specializes specifically in GM ignition recall litigation. It is important to reconstruct the accident with expert testimony (in many cases) and to document the full extent of your injuries for maximum compensation. Damages are available to compensate victims for wrongful death, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, loss of income due to injury, disability, quality of life issues, and property damage. General Motors has already admitted fault that makes them liable when your case fits within the class of accidents recognized.
Hold GM Accountable for Commercial Nihilism
When you file a claim against GM, you hold them accountable and create a stronger incentive for the manufacturer to put people before profits. No matter what type of accident you may have suffered in a GM vehicle, you should always discuss the case with an attorney. Never speak with the insurance adjusters on your own. Their job is to elicit information that diminishes your compensation, even in the most cut and dry cases. Their factual accounts of what you told them can be misrepresented and used to bar suit against the insurance company and GM.
If your vehicle is one of the 30 million recalled, please act quickly to have the ignition switch replaced at the dealership. Recalls are carried out free of charge.