General Motors Lawsuit Lawyers
Contact Matthews & Associates regarding a General Motors Recall Lawsuit if you or a loved one was injured in a recalled GM vehicle. Call or email us for a free legal consultation. Our law firm has handled lawsuits involving GM cars recalled for a faulty ignition switch, but we are also reviewing exploding air bag accidents and other car or truck injury accidents. We are evaluating injury lawsuits against the makers of all cars, including those made by General Motors (GM), Honda (or Takeda), Toyota, Kia, Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, Jaguar, Subaru, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, and more.
GM Ignition Switch Defect
General Motors was aware for more than ten years of incidents in which a faulty ignition switch could kill the engine and, in turn, cause catastrophic power failure. Sudden engine failure can also trigger the failure of power brakes and power steering, and consequently cause an accident made worse by the failure of airbags to deploy because of the general power failure. Documents show that GM’s own engineers discovered the potentially deadly ignition problem way back in 2001.
Recalls came Late
Several “redesigns” hampered by cost-cutting considerations did not adequately address the ignition switch problem. It was not until February 2014 that GM issued a recall to protect drivers and passengers. By that late date, the flaw may have caused the deaths of some 450 people.
The New York Times reported on March 13, 2014 that 303 people died after airbags failed in the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2003-2007 Saturn Ion. The Times referenced a review of accident reports by Friedman Research, a company which analyzes vehicle safety data.
Bloomberg reported that 143 people died due to airbag failures in the Chevy Impala.
Airbag Failure Catastrophic
Adding insult to tragedy, the people in these cars did not die simply because of a crash. They died because not only did a GM car crash; its airbags failed to deploy as a result of the same problem that caused the crash.
GM Learned Ignition Problem 2001
GM’s own documentation indicates that company engineers discovered in 2001 that the ignition of the Saturn Ion could change from “run” to “accessory” or “off” position. Early evidence indicates a design change GM administered to fix the problem failed.
In 2003, according to GM documents, one of the company’s service technician “observed a stall while driving.” In 2004, GM engineers then encountered the problem again during pre-market Cobalt test drives. Then, after considering the overall cost, effectiveness and the time involved in developing a solution, GM chose to do nothing. It was part of the company’s new business model to just roll the dice and see if, by some beneficent miracle, nobody would ever get hurt or killed by one of its new death cars. (And even if someone – or several people – did indeed get hurt or killed, maybe the survivors would never find out that GM knew well before the fact that it was playing Russian Roulette with peoples’ lives.)
The 2005 Cobalt, and Beyond
Complaints about the 2005 Cobalt suddenly losing power arrived at GM’s doorstep. By 2007, GM had knowledge of several collisions in which an airbag failed to deploy. GM continued to investigate such crashes right up to its Feb. 2014 recall.
Automobiles Recalled Feb. 2014
• 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
• 2005-2010 Pontiac G5
• 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR
• 2006-2010 Pontiac Solstice
• 2006-2010 Saturn Sky
• 2003-2007 Saturn Ion
• 2007 Opel GT
• 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit
Models recalled on June 30, 2014
• 1997-2005 Chevrolet Malibu
• 1998-2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue
• 1999-2004 Oldsmobile Alero
• 1999-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
• 2000-2005 Pontiac Grand Am
• 2000-2005 Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo
• 2004-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix.
A separate recall of 554,328 vehicle in the U.S. includes:
• 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS
• 2004-2006 Cadillac SRX.
Get Legal Help Now
If you or someone you love was injured by one of these recalled GM cars, contact a GM Recall Lawsuit Attorney now. You may be eligible for damages from GM on several counts:
Physical pain and suffering
Past and future loss of earnings and earning abilities
Several recalled GM cars are equipped with black boxes, or event data recorders. Owners of these cars who were involved in accidents might be wise to get those black box reports if they can.
No out-of-Pocket Expense
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients never pay any out-of-pocket expense. Our GM Recall Lawsuit attorneys have long represented people injured by defective automobiles, trucks or tires. Matthews & Associates has handled cases for clients across the country who have been injured or killed, or sustained substantial property damage. General Motors’ behavior in ignoring faulty ignition systems for more than a decade prompts our return to this type of litigation.
GM Recall Lawsuit Filed in California
A lawsuit against GM was filed in San Francisco on April 7 by lawyers representing 13 car owners in 9 states. The car owners’ attorneys are seeking class-action status for these lawsuits. In the United States, GM has recalled some 1.4 million vehicles for a faulty ignition switch that can lead to catastrophe.
Attorneys charge in the complaint that GM’s conduct regarding its defective key system leaves the automaker liable for damages, as does the company’s ongoing efforts to mislead GM car owners and cover-up the problem.
(Related: CNN Money: Recall Nightmare)
One of the attorneys represented the family of a Georgia woman killed in a 2010 ignition switch-triggered accident. In September, 2013, months before GM announced the recall, that suit reached settlement. The family’s suit over the woman’s death was one of the first to ignite the ignition switch issue.
In a Fortune 500 article, GM refused to comment on the pending litigation. The automaker did say, however, that it is “ensuring the safety and peace of mind of our customers involved in the recall and fixing their vehicles.”
GM Engineers knew Ignition Switch Problem
GM inside documents show that its engineers knew of ignition switch problems ten years ago, in 2004. Nevertheless, America’s biggest automaker did not order any recall until February 2014. The lawsuit filed in Calif. charges evidence of ignition switch problems dates back to 2001.
The suit also charges that ignition issues continued to be defective on cars built as late as 2010. GM’s only recall to the date of this suit was for Chevrolet Cobalts, Pontiac G5’s, Saturn Ions, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky’s, through 2007, along with Chevrolet’s HHR model through 2006. Several more cars have been recalled since that time, though the automaker has thus far stated that it will pay for only a select short list of recalled cars it admits have the ignition switch problem.
GM said it plans to start replacing faulty ignition systems in April, but the suit charges that, “To fully remedy the problem and render the defective vehicles safe…additional design elements beyond a new ignition switch are needed.”
The complaint also seeks compensation for car owners whom the lawsuit says have been harmed by a reduced value of their cars.
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GM Ignition Compensation
Total GM Recalls as of August 2014
• G2X 2007-2009: ignition switch
Opel / Vauxhall
• GT 2007-2010: ignition switch