Between February and March of 2014, General Motors (GM) recalled more than 2.86 million vehicles due to a variety of defects. More than 1 million vehicles were recalled in early February alone due to a dangerous ignition switch defect that led to dozens of car accidents and the death of at least 12 people. General Motors’ handling of the recall is now being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office as a criminal matter.
If you or someone you love has been fatally or non-fatally injured in a car accident involving one of the recalled vehicles listed below, contact the Kansas City car defect lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.C. Our product liability attorneys can investigate your claim regarding GM ignition switches and help you determine if you are eligible for compensation. We can help you make your next decision with clarity and confidence, backed by a proven history of claims success.
Speak with our attorneys in a free legal consultation.
GM Investigation Timeline
On Feb. 10, 2014, the initial announcement stated that more than 619,000 vehicles were being withdrawn to fix a defective ignition switch. Three days later, General Motors added 748,024 vehicles to the total.
As investigations into potential auto accidents caused by the defect continued, a timeline reveals that General Motors did not act quickly enough.
- 2001 – According to General Motors, while testing the Saturn Ion, a similar issue with the ignition switch was found. A design change was made to remedy the problem.
- 2003 – A service technician witnesses a vehicle unexpectedly stalling after the ignition switch was bumped into the “off” position while driving.
- 2004 – General Motors notes that the ignition switch of a 2005 Chevy Cobalt could be knocked out of the “run” position.
- 2005 – GM proposes redesigning the key head, but the proposal is rejected. In July 2005, the first fatal collision linked to the defective switch is reported. By December 2005, GM issues a service bulletin advising dealers about the problem, but fails to call back any vehicles.
- 2007 – Safety regulators tell General Motors about the fatal accident, but they fail to open an investigation. In April 2007, an investigator suggests that the crash may have been linked to the switch problem GM was advised about in 2005. The company finally begins tracking the problem by December 2007 and discovers that four more crashes occurred when the engine was shut down and the airbags failed.
- 2013 – GM observes that a total of 31 accidents and 12 deaths are related to the faulty switch.
- 2014 – More than 1.36 million General Motors makes and models are recalled to remedy the defective ignition problem.
Many investigations into the number of accidents and injuries caused by this defect have been launched, as the affected vehicles were sold throughout North America. According to the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer watchdog group, an astounding 303 deaths could be linked to faulty airbags in Chevy Cobalt and Saturn Ion models alone.
Vehicles with a Faulty Switch
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the reason for the recall was that the vehicle’s ignition switch could move out of the “run” position. When the switch was moved, it resulted in the loss of electrical power, thus shutting the engine down or turning off safety equipment such as the airbags.
The following vehicles were withdrawn from the market:
- Saturn Ion (2003-2007)
- Saturn Sky (2007)
- Pontiac G5 (2007)
- Pontiac Solstice (2006-2007)
- Chevrolet Cobalt (2005-2007)
- Chevrolet HHR (2006-2007)
Additional Recalls Announced
More than 1.2 million crossover SUVs need re-wiring as the airbags could fail to deploy; approximately 64,000 full-size sedans need brakes remedied as they could overheat and cause a vehicle fire; and 330,000 vans need new material installed on the instrument panel as the current material could fail to protect passengers in an automobile accident.
The vehicles affected include:
- Buick Enclave (2008-2013)
- Chevrolet Traverse (2009-2013)
- Chevrolet Express (2009-2014)
- Cadillac XTS (2013-2014)
- GMC Acadia (2008-2013)
- GMC Savana (2009-2014)
- Saturn Outlook (2008-2010)
Contact Our Vehicle Defect Attorneys Today
At Peterson & Associates, P.C., we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been wronged by any corporation or organization.
When GM failed to pull their vehicles, they put the public at risk of injury and are now facing the consequences of their choices.
Our clients choose us to represent their lives and interests because:
- We’ve helped thousands of injured people just like you.
- We’ve collected more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements*.
- We’ve been selected for Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers® for over 15 years.
- We cover all costs of investigation and litigation until your case is resolved.
- We have the highest possible legal rating among our peers—AV Preeminent®.
If you believe you could never afford a top-quality lawyer, you absolutely can. We never collect a fee unless our clients collect compensation, so no matter who you are, you have access to a nationally-renowned team of car accident lawyers in Kansas City. Our attorneys have the experience and resources you need to develop a strong case and help fight for the compensation you deserve. Your case could right many wrongs, including providing for your medical costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and all other financial damages caused by your accident.
Call 816-888-8888 to speak with Peterson & Associates, P.C. in a free legal consultation.