In mid February, General Motors issued a recall of more than 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 vehicles for defective ignition switches. GM has now announced that they are doubling the recall after 13 deaths were reported. According to The Associated Press, 842,000 Saturn Ion compacts, Saturn Sky sport cars, Pontiac Solstice, and Chevrolet HHR SUVs have been added to the list of recalled vehicles.
GM is taking heat for this recall because they have allegedly known about the problem for a number of years. According to the report, GM has known for awhile that rough roadway conditions can cause the defective ignition switches to move. If an ignition shifts away from the run position, the engine and electrical power may immediately stop. This means that drivers in these defective vehicles can suddenly lose their power steering, power-assisted brakes, and front airbags.
This serious auto defect has been linked to 31 crashes and 13 front-seat deaths. The engine did not shut off in each of the accidents, but the airbags did not inflate in all of the fatal crashes. Investigators are trying to determine if the victims died because of the defective ignition switches or just because the airbags did not inflate.
As this is a serious safety issue, all drivers of GM vehicles would be well advised to stay abreast of the growing number of recalled vehicles. If you drive or own any of these recalled vehicles, have your ignition replaced at your nearest dealer at no cost to you. If you have suffered an injury related to the defect, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your losses. Victims of defective products, such as faulty auto parts, may file a product liability claim against the at-fault manufacturer. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.