In February 2014, General Motors announced a recall of 1.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches that have been linked to a dozen fatalities and dozens of crashes. According to a March 13, 2014 article in the Wall Street Journal, GM admitted that it knew of the problem as early as 2001, but waited over a decade to issue the recall. GM has yet to determine the full scope of the problem.
Vehicles Recalled by GM
The vehicles recalled due to the faulty ignition switch are:
- Chevrolet Cobalt – 2005-07 model years
- Pontiac G5 – 2005-07
- Saturn Ion – 2003-07
- Chevrolet HHR – 2006-07
- Pontiac Solstice – 2006-07
- Saturn Sky – 2007
The faulty ignition switch can inadvertently cause the vehicle to turn off while it is being driven, raising multiple safety issues including failure of air bags to deploy and diminished ability to steer and brake the vehicle.
GM is the subject now of criminal, Congressional and regulatory investigations. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York has begun looking at the auto maker’s handling of complaints about faulty ignition switches. Lawmakers in the United States Senate have indicated that they will open their own probe of the auto maker’s actions. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, chair of the subcommittee on consumer protection, announced on March 12 plans to hold a hearing in April concerning the GM recall. “We have to get to the bottom of this,” she said. “We need to find out who dropped the ball and put millions of Americans at risk.” The auto maker is also facing an April 3 deadline to answer 107 questions posed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.
Gray Ritter Graham Investigating Potential Legal Claims Against GM
The St. Louis law firm of Gray Ritter Graham is currently investigating potential legal claims of those Missouri consumers who purchased one of the vehicles included in the recall, including those who have not yet experienced problems with the ignition and those who have. Our investigation includes claims by those who have suffered personal injuries and economic losses as a result of an accident that may have been caused by the faulty ignition.
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