Lawsuits Against GM
GM issued a recall in February of 2014 on models of vehicles that were identified as having a defective ignition switch. Initially the recall was for 1.6 million vehicles, however, one month later GM issued a recall on an additional 971,000 vehicles. In total the recall covered 2.6 million GM automobile.
The issue was with the design of the ignition switch which made it prone to malfunction. GM has known about the issue with the ignition switch since 2001, yet did nothing to fix the problem for more than a decade.
Originally, The Problem With The Ignition Switch In These Automobiles Was Determined To Be The Cause Of 13 Deaths And Several Other Injuries. However, Recently It Has Surfaced That The Number Of Fatalities Caused By Faulty GM Ignition Switches Is 124 Known Deaths. There Are Several Other Cases Of Injury Including Brain Damage, Amputation, Paralysis, And Other Severe Injuries Attributed To The Faulty GM Ignition Switch. GM Has Settled With Many Of These Victims, However, They Have Denied 90% Of Claims Linked To Their Defective Ignition Switches. It Is Believed That The Actual Number Of Victims Of The Defective Ignition Switch Is Much Higher.
The Models Included In The Defective GM Ignition Switch Recall Include:
- 2005-2007 Chevy Cobalt
- 2005-2007 Pontiac G5
- 2005-2007 Pontiac Pursuit
- 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
- 2006-2007 Chevy HHR
- 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstice
- 2007 Saturn Sky
Faulty GM Ignition Switch Effects:
The issues with defective GM ignition switches has caused several fatalities and serious injuries to owners of these GM vehicles. The main fault was with the “detent plunger” which is the mechanism that provides mechanical resistance to prevent accidental rotation. In other words, it is the mechanism that keeps the switch from being jarred into the off or accessory positions. This piece was defective and should have been dealt with when discovered. There are several things that initiated the faulty ignition switches to malfunction, including:
- Accidental bumping the ignition switch caused the switch to move into the off position rendering functions completely shut down.
- Heavy keychains caused the ignition switch to bump into the off position rendering all functions shut down.
- Jarring from road conditions caused the ignition switch to bump into the off position rendering all functions shut down.
When The GM Ignition Switches Malfunction It Causes Several Vital Functions Of The Vehicle To Completely Shut Down. This, In Turn, Causes The Vehicle To Become Virtually Uncontrollable And Can Lead To A Crash That Could Injure Or Kill The Occupants. Here Are The Functions That Are Shut Down When A GM Ignition Switch Malfunctions.
- Electrical: All electrical functions of the vehicle shut down.
- Power Steering: Power steering shuts down leaving the vehicle very difficult to steer.
- ABS Brakes: The braking system shuts down leaving the driver unable to stop the vehicle safely.
- Airbags: The airbag safety system is shut down leaving occupants without the main safety feature on their car, thus leaving them susceptible to serious injury or death.
What do ignition switches do?
The Ignition Switch Is Generally A Keyed Switch That Turns On The Electrical System Of The Vehicle, Followed By The Other Systems Of The Car And Sends The Signal For The Vehicle To Ignite The Engine. Generally, The Switch Has Four Positions Off, Accessory, Run And Start. Run Turns The Electrical Components On And Gets The Systems Ready To Ignite. The Start Position Is Used To Ignite The Engine. The Accessory Function Only Turns On Electrical Components Such As The Radio, Power Windows, Etc.
GM Ignition Switch Lawsuit
Lawsuits Involving GM Ignition Switch Malfunctions That Have Led To Injuries And Deaths Have Been Filed Against GM. This Has Been The Result Of The Manufacturer’s Negligence To Inform The Public Of The Dangers Associated With Their Defective Ignition Switches. GM Was Also Negligent In Performing A Timely Recall Of The Affected Vehicles. GM Knew About The Issue Very Early In The Manufacturing Process Of The Affected Models And Negligently And Deliberately Ignored The Issue Due To Costs Associated With Fixing The Issue. Though GM Has Offered A Settlement To Many Of The Victims Of Their Faulty Ignition Switches Over 90% Of Claims Have Been Denied In Spite Of The Fact That Many Of Them Were Determined To Be A Direct Result Of The Defective Ignition Switch. GM Has Faced Many Claims Including Claims That Are Still In The Court System.